Cruisin' on Main Street

Cruisin_banner.jpeg

CRUISIN' ON MAIN STREET IS BACK FOR ITS 21st Year!
Join us on Sunday, August 7 ( rain dates August 14 and 21) for a fun-filled day of beautiful vintage vehicles, special activities, displays, music and delicious food arrayed along Downtown Manchester's historic Main Street. Show Car registration opens at 8am and the show opens to the public at 10 AM and continues until 3 PM. All cars, trucks, sports cars and street rods 1987 and prior are welcome.

YOU CAN HELP SUPPORT CRUISIN' 2022

You can help support Cruisin' 2O22 and an important local nonprofit by becoming a Friend of Cruisin'. Cruisin' recognizes that many people enjoy Cruisin' and may be looking for ways to support the event. With a donation of $30, $50 or $100 you can become Friends of Cruisin'. 

All friends of Cruisin' are listed on the Cruisin' on Main Street website, and recognized on the Cruisin' Facebook page.

 

About Us

Car with front bonnet open to display the motor

Contact Information:

Larry Ash, Event Chairperson, gearheadmafiaofct@gmail.com

Mandy Garfield, Sponsor Chairperson, 860-833-5608, Garfield_mandi_d@sbcglobal.net

Kevin Wagner, Food Vendor Manager, kwagner2790@gmail.com

 

History of Cruisin' on Main

Cruisin' on Main Street began in 2001. The birth and development was created by a core group of dedicated individuals and organizations that had a love of antique cars and wanted to relive the 40's thru 70's when Cruisin' on Main Street was a Thursday night tradition.

They were:

  • Ed Firestone, former chair of the DMSSD
  • The late Butch Gordon, of Manchester Motor Car Co.
  • The Downtown Manchester Special Services District
  • WDRC FM radio station, 102.9 on your FM dial.

The idea for a Main Street cruise and car show quickly caught on, spreading like wildfire. A generation of Manchester residents recall spending Thursday evenings cruising Main Street with their best girl. Given the unique history and character of Main Street and the burgeoning interest in vintage vehicles, everyone thought that a Main Street cruise and show would be a winner. They were right.

The first Cruisin' On Main Street was held in August of 2001. Our goal was to attract 200 show cars and several hundred spectators. To our delight and surprise over 500 show cars and several thousand spectators attended. Since then, Cruisin' on Main Street has grown in size every year. In our peak year we welcomed approximately 1,000 vehicles and 30,000 spectators.

In 2016, management of Cruisin' on Main transitioned from the DMSSD to the Town of Manchester. The committee remains committed to making this the premier event of the year while showcasing our beautiful and historic downtown.

Founding Sponsors

The Town of Manchester

Manchester Special Services District

102.9 The Whale

Presenting Sponsor

Taylor Rental Party Plus logo

Fueled By Sponsor

CITGO logo

Volunteer Sponsor

Tires International logo

VIP Hospitality Sponsor

Highland Park Market logo

Friends of Cruisin'

Special Thanks to Our Friends of Cruisin'

$100 Friend Level

David Shapard

Debbie Duarte

Tom Ruby

Ron Noske

The Firestone Art Studio & Cafe

Florentino, Howard and Petrone, PC

Pastrami on Wry

Jeffrey Neville

Retro Junk

Cheney Mortgage, Inc.

Catherine Thrall

Lily Thrall

Katrina Thrall

John F. Tierney Funeral Home

 

$50 Friend Level

Jet MotorSports

Judi Gilchrist

$30 Friend Level

Manchester Mall

Fourwheel Drive Performance

Andi's Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

Managing Car Club

Gear Head Mafia logoThe Gear Head Mafia Car Club is a group of individuals who are like family. We are dedicated to the preservation and common love of automobiles. The Club was formed in the town of Manchester CT in January of 2015 by a group of friends that has currently grown to over thirty members. We are like a group of brothers and sisters working together for the good of our community and have raised over $7,000.00 for various charities such as "Make a Wish Foundation" and "Veterans Base Camp" just to name a few. In addition we ship care packages annually for our troops abroad during the holiday season.

The Club members participate in automotive related activities that include car cruises beginning in April running through October each year. We actively engage in various car cruises, car shows, rod runs and enjoy picnics from time to time. It's great fun for all who attend. In addition we assist and support other car clubs including community charitable events.

The Gear Head Mafia Car Club along with the assistance of the Glastonbury Elks Club and many local sponsors make it possible to present our annual care packages for the troops car show.

We have recently been asked to become the official car club of "Cruising on Main Street" and we gladly accepted the opportunity so we can join them in giving back to the community.

As the club continues to grow we anticipate doing bigger and better things for our local charities and communities. We are not only car people but we strive to make our outings family orientated with activities for the entire family.

For further information and club events go to www.gearheadmafia.org or check us out on Facebook.

Charitable Giving

Cruisin' on Main Street has a history of charitable giving as well as displaying an impressive array of vintage vehicles each year at its annual cruise and show.When it was founded 21 years ago Cruisin' on Main Street had a mission of sharing the art and artistry of our automotive heritage within the historic setting of Downtown Manchester's Main St. Over the years that mission has expanded to include an emphasis on giving back to the community. Beginning in 2005 Cruisin' began to devote a portion of proceeds after expenses to a variety of charitable causes.

To date, Cruisin' has donated $154,371.00 to numerous not for profit and charitable organizations serving the Manchester community. Beneficiaries have included organizations serving the homeless, special needs, youth, seniors, public safety, education, service and civic organizations, health, arts, education and others.

The Cruisin' Committee is particularly proud of establishing the Cruisin' on Main John 'Randy' Thrall Memorial Scholarship, administered by the Manchester Scholarship Foundation. Randy was a prominent member of the Manchester business and collector car community who passed away in March of 2013. A respected member of the Cruisin' Committee, he helped to grow and guide the event from its early days. After his passing the Cruisin' Committee established an annual scholarship. Five scholarships amounting to $500 each have been given out to date. This year's recipient was Zubeda Kizito. Zubeda will attend the University of New Haven. The Cruisin' Committee reached its goal of a self sustaining scholarship fund.

The Cruisin' on Main Committee is proud to give back to the community even as it educates and celebrates our rich automotive history. For information about the Cruisin' Mini Grant Program contact Recreation Supervisor Nicolas Arias at 860 647-3079.