Cruise-ins: Car shows near you

Photo by Damaine Vonada

Baseball may be the national pastime, but cruise-ins are Ohio’s obsession. From spring through fall, anybody and everybody — towns, museums, businesses, and even wineries — showcase vintage vehicles, and whether it’s a collectors’ show or informal cruise-in, Ohioans turn out in droves to relish the craftsmanship, chrome, and charisma of classic cars.

Since cruise-in season is underway in the Buckeye State, we’ve selected eight great events where the good times roll.

Arthritis Foundation Classic Auto Show & Cruise-In
Dublin; July 5–7, 2018

The beauty of this suburban Columbus event is that it combines a top-notch visitor experience, a wide variety of cars, and an awesome location with green spaces and water features at Dublin’s Metro Center. Staged for more than 30 years and benefiting the Arthritis Foundation, it attracts some 1,100 cars from more than 20 states. “You’ll see a ton of cool cars in about 50 different classes based on brands, age, ownership, or unrestored originals,” says chairperson Kevin Gadd.

Performance Classic Car Show
Delaware; July 21, 2018

Formerly called “Blast from the Past,” it showcases hundreds of cars, trucks, and motorcycles on Delaware’s main drag and has earned a reputation as one of Ohio’s best downtown automotive extravaganzas. “Delaware shuts down Sandusky Street just for the show, and every year, it gets between 12,000 and 15,000 people,” says chairperson Jeff Brashares. While car owners covet the classic’s 6-foot-tall “Best of” trophies, spectators appreciate its family-friendly environment and the numerous shops and restaurants that are open during the show.

Cambridge Classic Cruise In
August 18, 2018

The biggest one-day event in downtown Cambridge brings thousands of visitors to Wheeling Avenue (a.k.a. the Historic National Road). “The festive atmosphere really sells this show,” says chairperson Brian Stillion. “It’s like a big block party.” Headquartered at the majestic Guernsey County Courthouse, the Cruise In includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors, and even riding mowers. “If it rolls on wheels, we’ll take it,” Stillion says.

Cruisin’ by the Bay Sandusky
September 7–8, 2018

Presented by the Remember Cruisin’ Car Club of Northern Ohio, this popular charity event assists local cancer patients, and Sandusky closes off Columbus Avenue and other streets for more than 500 hot rods and classic cars that roll in. “Downtown Sandusky is a hard-to-beat car show venue,” says club president Mike Willinger. “The parks have big trees and beautiful flower beds, and Columbus Avenue ends at Sandusky Bay.” Other perks include Sandusky’s lively restaurant scene, Jet Express ferry rides, and the Merry-Go-Round Museum.