The annual Cruise to the Center of Oregon car show will take place Saturday, June 7 at the fairgrounds

by: CENTRAL OREGONIAN - he Cruise to the Center of Oregon car show not only features a variety of polished, classic vehicles from 1987 and earlier, it is intended to be an event that attracts the entire family and helps the Crook County Rodders raise money for local charities.

The Crook County Rodders Car Club wants its Annual Cruise to the Center of Oregon show to offer more than the standard car show.

Nine years in, it seems they have accomplished that goal. As one first-time participant told Rodders president Wanda Frisby, the event could be called a "county fair car show."

"I thought that was cute," she said.

The Cruise to the Center of Oregon returns to the Crook County Fairgrounds next Saturday, and is sponsored by Les Schwab Tires, Ray's Food Place, Gary Gruner Chevrolet and the Prineville Elks. The event remains a car show at its core with people entering show cars from as far away as California and Washington. Open to vehicles from 1987 and back, car enthusiasts can count on more than 175 polished, antique classic vehicles.

"There are awards with classifications," Frisby added, naming People's Choice, Best Paint and Best Interior as examples. Even cars under construction can win a prize.

"We have one for the oldest participant called the Gearhead Geezer Award," she said, "and then we have a certificate for the Gearhead Youngster, which is for car entries for 21 and younger."

Also returning is an antique tractor display and tractor pull.

However, there is more to the show than just the cars. The event doubles as a fundraiser and family event. The Prineville Elks Lodge will be the featured organization and provide raffle and silent auction items to benefit their annual Christmas Food Basket program.

"Being a nonprofit organization, what we do is try to benefit local charities for our community," Frisby explained. "It sounds like we are going to have some really great raffle items."

Meanwhile, visitors can enjoy a variety of different vendors offering general merchandise and crafts and those who brought their appetite can check out the food court. The Humane Society of the Ochocos will also be on hand to host an adoption event while a DJ plays music in the background.

Children can once again hop aboard the free choo-choo train, courtesy of the Crooked River Lions Club, an attraction that Frisby said is a highlight for the kids.

The car show, which is free to the public with a nonperishable food donation, has grown each year since its inception, and Frisby is hoping the trend continues this year.

"It is getting very popular," she said. "We always have a great time. It is probably the best family-fun car show in the area."

The Cruise to the Center of Oregon car show, hosted by the Crook County Rodders Car Club, will be held at the Crook County Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free and a nonperishable food donation is requested.

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