BEMIDJI-The Paul Bunyan Vintage Auto Club is planning on showing off some sweet rides again this summer.
But this year, they're doing it a little differently.
In years past, the club organized the Bemidji Car Show. For 34 years, the club brought together hundreds of classic cars and spectators to various locations in the community, such as the Bemidji High School and the Beltrami County Fairgrounds. Eventually, the event moved over to the Sanford Center parking lot and the facility staff took the program over.
However, last year, because of a lack of sponsors, the Sanford Center decided not to hold the car show. Still wanting to celebrate automotive interests in Bemidji, though, club member Nathan Jewett said the group came up with a new idea to enjoy cars, instead of a show.
The idea, which Jewett saw in Rochester, is a casual "cruise-in."
"It's less formal, where people can just come in free of admission," Jewett said. "People can just stop on by, enjoy the downtown and see some nice cars."
Jewett said there are three First City Cruise-Ins scheduled this summer at the Union Square parking lot in Bemidji's downtown. The events are scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, July 20 and Aug. 17.
Because the event is more casual, Jewett also said everyone is invited to drive in and showcase their car, regardless if it's new or old.
"We're a vintage car club, and we formed back in 1972, but you don't have to have an old car to be a member," Jewett said. "You just have to have an interest and passion in cars. So, it doesn't matter if you have a 1968 Camaro or a 2018 Camaro. Come on down, hang out and meet some new people."
As a more loose event, Jewett also said the club is forgoing vendors, with the intent to drive more traffic to the local businesses.
The Union Square parking lot is between First Street and Second Street Northwest, just west of Paul Bunyan Drive Southeast.