Lansing cruises back in time during first Cruise Night Concert

by Jamilyn Hiskes

LANSING, Ill. (June 8, 2019) – Sometimes it’s possible to smell cars before seeing them. The musk of old, hot leather, tire rubber, and V8 engine exhaust that typically surrounds classic car shows is impossible to miss. That’s what Ridge Rd. between Roy St. and Wentworth Ave. smelled like June 8, during 2019’s first Cruise Night.

Sponsored by the Lansing Association for Community Events (L.A.C.E.), this Cruise Night was different from those of years past. While some of the classic Oldsmobiles and Chevrolets may have been familiar sights, the concert at Fox Pointe—also sponsored by L.AC.E.—following the event made the night one to remember.

Cars like these, new and old, lined either side of Ridge Rd. between Roy St. and Wentworth Ave. during 2019’s first Cruise Night. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)

Strolling Ridge Road

Starting at about 5 p.m., dozens of polished, loud muscle cars lined either side of Ridge Rd. and slowed traffic down to 20 miles per hour. Hundreds of Lansing residents and families of all ages walked along the street to ogle the beautiful machines made of sweat and Detroit steel, stopping at local businesses such as Gayety’s (3306 Ridge Rd.) and Mancino’s (3300 Ridge Rd.) for food along the way. There were even food trailers from other restaurants such as Lynnie Ques, and a bouncy castle for the kids.

The sidewalks and businesses along Ridge Rd. were packed during Cruise Night. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)
The cruise night and concert at Fox Pointe were both sponsored by L.A.C.E. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)

Enjoying Fox Pointe

Once attendees had had their fill of food and cars, they made their way to Fox Pointe for the first Cruise Night Concert of the year. In keeping with the vintage theme of the event, local cover band The Meteors—which specializes in songs from the 1960s—was that evening’s entertainment.

Unlike the previous two Fox Pointe events, this one provided only beverage refreshments, since most attendees had eaten outside the venue while perusing the cars. Village employees served as the event volunteers for the evening—even Fox Pointe director Tony Troncozo and Mayor Patricia Eidam donned the bright yellow STAFF vests.

1960s cover band The Meteors took Lansing back in time to the age of the British Invasion and the birth of modern rock ‘n’ roll. (Photo by: Jamilyn Hiskes)

“They couldn’t find a community group that wanted to volunteer for tonight,” said Village Trustee and volunteer Saad Abassy. “When they briefed us, they said they had no idea what [the turnout] would be like tonight.”

While this event wasn’t as widely attended as the previous two Fox Pointe concerts, Lansing still showed up. When the concert started at 8:30pm, half an hour before the official end of the Cruise Night, about 150 people were seated on the lawn and under the pavilion. However, as the night went on, the crowd grew to about 350 people—many of whom were young children, brought to the show from the Cruise Night by their parents.

Many children were in attendance for the first Cruise Night Concert, including this young mohawked fan of The Meteors. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)

The Meteors put on an entertaining and lighthearted show, playing tunes from legendary artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and rock ‘n’ roller Johnny Rivers. Showcasing the vocal talents of almost every one of the band’s five members, each song inspired audience members to get up and dance—either with someone else or by themselves. Guitarist, frontman, and lead vocalist Greg Favata dropped the occasional joke and introduced each song to the audience, crediting both original artists and those who made the tunes famous.

Despite a few scattered raindrops, it was a fun evening for Lansing.

Anticipating future events

The next Cruise Night Concert will be held in conjunction with a Food Truck Fest July 13. For the complete Fox Pointe events list, visit www.foxpointe.org.

About The Meteors

The Meteors are made up of Favata, keyboardist Ron Miller, drummer Tony Bicek, bassist Ken Gooday and guitarist Joe Garcia. According to their website, they are “Chicagoland’s Most Authentic Oldies Band” and strive to take their audiences back in time with the classic songs they perform. For more information about The Meteors, visit www.themeteors.org.

About L.A.C.E.

L.A.C.E. is a local organization that “serves the greater Lansing area in organizing and facilitating community wide events with intentional focus on building a stronger village identity, encouraging a more robust local economy and supporting reoccurring destination events,” according to their website. They are the organizers behind each cruise night and Autumn Fest. For more information, visit www.lansinglace.com.

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