Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

July 2, 2010

Thousands pack downtown to watch cruise-in

GOSHEN —

Car fans were in Goshen Friday night, but they thought they were in heaven.

Their journey to paradise began at Goshen Middle School, where drivers gathered with their cars before heading for downtown to take part in the second annual Goshen Cruisin’ Reunion. The event was part of First Fridays.

"Unless you see this, I don’t think you could explain it to anyone," Jeff Showalter said of the multi-thousand crowd lining Main Street in Goshen. "I’ve never seen the town so vibrant." He said he has been to nearly every First Friday event, missing only one in the past two years.

"It’s absolutely amazing," Showalter said.

Thousands of car fans and curious onlookers crowded the downtown area, courthouse square and Clinton Street to look at colorful and noisy cars, trucks, motorcycles pass by and take in the entertainment and enjoy a wide variety of food.

Organizer Don Riegsecker said everything came together to make the Friday program a success. He mentioned the great weather, as temperatures were in the low 80s and high 70s last evening.

Riegsecker estimated there were 500 to 600 vehicles at the staging area of the Goshen Middle School, where two groups of cruisers left at 6 p.m., one headed up Indiana Avenue to Pike Street and the second going east on Plymouth and then north on Main. The lines of cruisers were led by Goshen police officers.

"I had a blast," Riegsecker said of the cruise-in.

Showalter, who has had a career in the car business, missed the cruise-in last year but drove his 1963 Corvette convertible two laps around downtown this year. "We went two laps in two hours. Well, to be accurate, it was an hour and 45 minutes. It was 20 minutes between lights. It took 40 minutes to come up Pike Street," Showalter said, after parking his convertible on Clinton Street. "I had a blast. I’m guessing there were 500 to 600 cars in the parking lot. It is pretty cool."

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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