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Old Town's 16th Anniversary Saturday Nite Cruise • 2006

Sixteen is a magical number here in America, if for no other reason than because it gives youths the opportunity to get a driver’s licence. Who among us can’t remember the thrill of finally getting that magical piece of paper, and the freedom associated with it. Well, as we all grow older and time flies by, the great Saturday Nite Cruise at Old Town in Kissimmee passed that magical milestone on June 3rd, 2006. If you love old cars and trucks, and have been anywhere near the central Florida area on a Saturday night, chances are you’ve made the trip to Old Town in Kissimmee for the Saturday Nite Cruise. It is open to cars and trucks that are 1972 and older, and has gained world-wide recognition. Many cruisers have been coming out since the beginning, and many more have participated along the way. In some ways it feels as if it is one of our own children....and as a result everyone got together and celebrated the 16th Anniversary in grand style. Luckily this year the weather cooperated nicely, and as a result around 750 vehicles were in attendance, packing the parking lots around Old Town. Once again commemorative license plates were given out, and as usual everything was absolutely FREE to the cruisers and spectators.

Live music was provided on the main stage by Still Kickin’, which got peoples toes tapping. Random registration numbers were drawn for the checkered flag winners and the prize packages associated with them, plus there were several other special giveaways for the Anniversary. It took a while to take in all the cars and trucks in attendance, and as usual the cruise down the red brick streets began at 8:30pm. However, it lasted for much longer than usual due to the volume of vehicles. This provided the perfect opportunity for literally thousands of spectators to line both sides of the long street that runs between all the shops at Old Town, and watch all the cars go right past them in a parade of gleaming chrome and shimmering paint. It really is a spectacle to behold, especially if you’ve never witnessed it before. The cruisers are beautiful while on “Trophy Row”, but when put in motion it takes a good thing and makes it that much better!

This particular Anniversary Cruise also marked the last time Mike T. would preside over Old Town’s Saturday Nite Cruise as the “Cruise Master”. He is relocating out of state, and as a result passed the responsibilities to Richard Stewart. We wish Mike T. the best in his new ventures, and welcome Rich to take the reigns of what has certainly become a central Florida cruising tradition.

Old Town celebrates the Anniversary of the Saturday Nite Cruise each year on the first Saturday of June, so it’s easy to keep this one in mind when marking your calendar. In the meantime, any Saturday night is a good time to come out for the “regular” weekly action at Old Town. It is always free to cruisers and spectators, and features live bands, eight randomly selected checkered flag winning participants, 75 specialty shops, 8 delicious restaurants, 18 thrilling rides, and fun for the whole family. There is also a night for motorcycles on Thursday, and a Friday Nite Cruise for 1973-87 plus specialty vehicles. For more info about Old Town visit - or better yet, come on out and experience it for yourself firsthand. CN