This weekend Nelson will play host to hundreds of car enthusiasts as the Nelson Road Kings host the 11th annual Queen City Cruise.
Road Kings president and Queen City Cruise committee chair Mike Keegan attributes the event’s success to an active membership of over 100 who meet monthly to plan.
“We’ve got a good bunch of volunteers that’s willing to put some effort into it, some time into it, and because of that it’s turned out pretty good,” he says.
The Queen City Cruise has continued to grow since the first cruise in 2003. Keegan remembers that first year, minus a few features that have become synonymous with the event of today like the rooftop dance and poker run.
“I’ve been there since the beginning,” he says. “Our first show had 225 cars and now we’ve gone to about 350 to 360.”
Car collectors from far and wide come to the Heritage City to show off their cars — most from Washington, Idaho as well as Southern BC and Alberta, but some from as far as California and Saskatchewan. Seeing folks enjoy themselves is the reward for their efforts, Keegan says.
“I still enjoy it after all these years. I like to see all my friends come and the people we’ve gotten to know over the years,” he says. “Lots of them come up to me and say ‘I’ve never missed a show.’ ‘I love this.’ ‘This is my favourite place to come.’ We get that all the time. It’s gratifying.”
Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Tom Thomson says the event is a boon to the community.
“It’s something that takes place once a year and people come from all over the Pacific Northwest to take part in it,” he says. “The businesses can benefit and the community benefits by good exposure.”
After registration, activity kicks off Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. with Nelson Chrysler hosting the Soap Box Derby on Lake Street. At 6 p.m. is the parade through downtown. On Saturday at 10 a.m. is the Show and Shine on Baker Street.
Keegan says there may still be tickets available at the Hume Hotel for the Rooftop Dance held on Saturday night. It starts at 7 p.m.