Annual Cruise Night to be scaled back this year

Cruise Night — the annual event in which hotrods and custom and classic cars take over downtown Glendale — will be scaled back this summer after officials this week decided to more than halve the event's budget.

The $103,000 required to stage the massively popular regional event has in past been paid for with redevelopment funds. But with Glendale's redevelopment agency dissolved by a state mandate, the city will now have to dip into its tight General Fund to cover a smaller $42,840 show.

Instead of reducing the number of cars at the event — normally around 350 — city officials instead plan to cut back on entertainment costs, according to a city report.

The City Council unanimously approved the scaled-back event Tuesday, but encouraged city officials to look for more corporate sponsors to help supplement the financial cost.

“With 50,000 automotive enthusiasts on the streets in one night, we should reach out to these corporate entities,” said Mayor Frank Quintero.

Glendale Community Services Manager Ross Phares said officials contacted General Motors, State Farm Auto Insurance and Meguiar's Car Care Products to be a headlining corporate sponsor, but all three rejected the proposal.

But Councilwoman Laura Friedman said other corporations might want to step in.

The city usually gets $7,000 from corporate sponsorships and $12,000 from car-entry fees, which are used to offset expenses, according to a city report.

The smaller Cruise Night was originally proposed for three blocks of Brand Boulevard, instead of the usual five, but after pushback from the City Council, Community Services & Parks Director Jess Duran said his department could expand the event to four blocks. However, he said, more money may be needed due to the extra space.

City officials had considered introducing an entrance fee, but decided against that since they estimated it would cut attendance by an estimated 30% and block off businesses on Brand Boulevard to the public — a major consideration for an event that has historically been a major revenue booster for downtown merchants.

This year's Cruise Night on Brand Boulevard is planned for July 21.

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