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37th annual Prairie Cruisers car show revved up for largest turnout yet

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1955 Chief Pontiac, with the sun shining on its front grill. Photo by Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

While 2020 has been a rough ride, the 37th annual Prairie Car Show hopes to make the weekend of Friday, July 17, and Saturday July 18, an enjoyable one by cruising into Dickinson with potentially the largest numbers the event has ever seen.

Some things may seem different, such as having some events moved to outdoors in order to help practice social distancing. Car enthusiasts and attendees alike will still be able to travel back in time with some of the most classic vintage cars seen around the Badlands of North Dakota.

“Our pre-registration numbers … they are the most we’ve had in 37 years,” said Don Heidt, Prairie Cruisers committee member and president. “We’re not sure where we’re going to be, but all indications say that this will break the record of the amount of cars that we’ve ever had in the 37 years … 150 cars was our highest year, we think we’ll break that record this year.”

While numerous car shows were postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, Heidt stated the members within the car show cared heavily for the health of everyone in attendance. The group decided to have a meeting to discuss if the event should take place, and how it would function.

“We waited until about three-and-a-half weeks ago to see where the COVID numbers were right in this area. We didn't see them spiking, so we were confident that we could put this event on and do it in the right kind of way .… We did have a vote among the car members so then it was voted yes that we would do it. Looking at the COVID numbers and how we could social distance this thing,” he said.

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Pre-registration for the event is $35 and registration on the day of entry will be $45 and will begin at noon on Friday. Participants can be part of the events on Friday and Saturday without being in the competition, but will not be able to be one of the members chosen for the custom Prairie Cruisers jackets.

On Friday, a meet and greet will be held at Players Sports Bar & Grill from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with special guest, Jay Thomas, the star of the TV show ‘Rides’ present. Following the event participants will then return to the West River Ice Center to close out the day.

On Saturday, from 8 to 11 a.m. registration will be available at the West River Ice Center with breakfast. At 10:30 a.m. the line-up for Show & Shine will begin in which attendees can get their first card for Poker Run.

From 11 to 2 p.m. the ‘Show and Shine’ at the Prairie Outpost park will be active. During this event, cars can then be voted on for the Top 10 and Ladies’ Choice. From 2 to 4:30 p.m. the ever popular Garage Tour and Poker Run will take place as well.

To close out the event, supper will be held at the West River Ice Center at 5 p.m. with awards and Chinese Auction winners announced at 6 p.m. before moving into the final event — the Bench Rodding which will close the series of events around 7 p.m.

For more information, please call Gene Hoyt at 1-800-526-5507.

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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