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Cruise-Ins start May 30 in downtown Hastings

In just more than a week, downtown Hastings will be transformed into a classic car lover's dream.

The Historic Hastings Saturday Night Cruise-Ins return for the fourth year beginning Saturday, May 30, and will continue to run every other Saturday night through Oct. 3. The shows go from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A lot of the fan-favorite theme nights from previous years will be back this year, and one new night, entitled, "The History of Cars," is being added to the schedule.

Cruise-In organizer Kevin Hoeschen said the idea came about late in the season last year, and that a special committee has been formed to work exclusively on that one show.

For "The History of Cars," which will be held Aug. 22, organizers are planning on lining up 76 cars, one from each of the years from 1900 to 1976, down the middle of Second Street with signs on each one telling the year, make and model of the car. On that night, the show will start an hour earlier and run from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Hoeschen said he's hoping to get some military vehicles for 1943 to 1945, when no cars were made in the U.S. because of the war effort.

Hoeschen said the committee planning "The History of Cars" show has already received more than 100 applications from car owners who want their car to represent a certain year.

Other theme nights include public safety night on June 27, where Hastings police and fire department vehicles, along with Dakota County law enforcement vehicles, will be on display. The Cottage Grove public safety departments will also likely bring down their new mobile command center to show off.

The Minnesota State Patrol will take center stage at the July 11 show. Their vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle, Ford Model A and restored 1954 patrol car have been hits at previous shows. The State Patrol helicopter will also land on Second Street for that show.

The last show, on Oct. 3, will be a fundraiser for the Hastings United Way and Hastings Family Service.

On average, the Cruise-Ins attract between 800 to 1,000 classic cars from 1976 and earlier. They bring 3,000 to 5,000 people to the downtown area. The Cruise-Ins are free for those attending, and parking lots for spectators are located on the southeast corner of East Second and Tyler streets, and the northeast corner of East Fourth and Sibley streets. You can also park on most nearby city streets unless signs say otherwise.

Hoeschen said they're always looking for volunteers to help with traffic control and other aspects of running the Cruise-Ins. Contact Hoeschen at 437-4400 to volunteer.