by: marcus hathcock, A little girl enjoys the hot pink motorcycle on display at the 2006 Suburban Car Show.

Suburban Auto Group will kick off the unofficial start of summer and the car show season with its Spring Cruise In from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at 36936 Highway 26.

'It's a fun party,' says Lynne Fischer, one of the organizers of the event. 'It's actually the first one of the season, and after going to quite a few other shows, it really does stand out.'

So far, more than 300 vehicles have registered for the eighth annual event, and as many as 600 cars are expected.

Fischer said turnout really depends on the weather.

'You know what? We live in Oregon, and all the cars are washable,' she said. 'A little rain doesn't hurt anybody.'

The car show - which is free to the public - will take place rain or shine.

Those vehicles will be on display for a chance to win a prize in the 28 different categories, which include convertibles, muscle cars, Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, imports, trucks, 'works-in-progress' and various decades.

Suburban executives Jerry and Nancy Jaksich and Erinn Sowle also will pick their favorites.

Trophies will be given for first through third place.

'You're going to find a car you like here,' Fischer said. 'There are just so many quality vehicles.'

One competition category that always gets some chuckles and stares is the 'Go Kart/etc.' category, which has brought go karts, motorized bar stools and miniature coupes to the event. Anything motorized that's not a car is eligible for that category.

The fantastic automotive eye candy is complemented by a large variety of car-related vendors, music and a raffle. For just a $1 ticket, rafflers get the chance to win a host of prizes, including iPods, golf bags, a trip to Wild Horse Casino in Pendleton and a trip to the Brickyard 400.

All proceeds from the raffle and the exhibitors' entry fees go to Guide Dogs for the Blind. Trainee puppies from the Boring-based organization will be on hand to give attendees a visual reminder of what they're supporting.

Suburban raised $16,000 last year for Guide Dogs, and hopes to increase the donation this year.

'The community gets behind us pretty darn well,' Fischer said.

And the community no longer has to worry much about parking. Suburban has a deal with Sandy Marketplace, the shopping center across the street, to allow attendees to park and safely cross the street at a crosswalk.

For more information, call 503-668-5555.

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