Click on thumbnails to see full size images and captions

Cruisin' Winter Haven's 6th Anniversary • May 7, 2011
story, photos and captions by John Michael

Saturday, May 7th, 2011, marked the 6th Anniversary of Cruisin’ Winter Haven. Clear skies, slight breezes and comfortable temperatures made for a perfect cruise night. As the show vehicles rolled in from early afternoon on, the first 100 vehicles received dash plaques, and all who entered a vehicle received a door prize ticket. In addition, 50/50 tickets were sold throughout the evening. DJ Butch Johnston of WJBJ Cruisin’ With The Classics played requests as well as our favorite cruising songs while owners gave a quick wipe down of their rides, then joined the spectators as they strolled the square admiring the beautiful vehicles, visiting the many shops, vendors booths and restaurants that were open for the cruise night.

What makes the Cruisin’ Winter Haven so special, is that as its name suggests, the show vehicles actually get to cruise the streets of downtown Winter Haven, and tonight was no exception. Around 8:00pm, everyone gathered around the WJBJ trailer at the corner of 4th Street S.W. and Central Avenue W. as Butch called out the winning door prize numbers. Winter Haven Citgo provided a full service car wash, and along with Auto Zone, Advanced Auto, and Bumper-to-Bumper auto parts stores, Keenan Auto Repair Service, Chef Neil’s Bistro, furnished this year’s door prizes. As customary, a Cruiser of the Month was also chosen, and that vehicle was a white and blue 1958 Mercury Montclair Turnpike Cruiser owned by Larry Bossarte. A payout of $145 to the winner of the 50/50 drawing was announced, followed by the playing of Our National Anthem, and then the actual cruising of the streets of Winter Haven completed the event.

Cruisin’ Winter Haven is a free monthly cruise-in open to all makes, models and years of vehicles. The event starts around 3:00pm, with the door prizes given away around 8:00pm, and the actual cruise ends around 9:00pm. The event is held the 1st Saturday of every month except December, when the town square is used by the city of Winter Haven for the Christmas Holiday seasonal activities. For more information about Cruisin’ Winter Haven, call WJBJ’s Butch Johnston at 863-207-2498, visit WJBJ’s web site at, or look at the listing in the Weekly & Monthly Cruises section of Mike Kelly’s Cruise News. CN