The 35th Weekend of Wheels

The Northern Cruisers Car Club of Grand Rapids will be hosting their 35th annual Weekend of Wheels Car Show on Saturday, July 27 at the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids. It all began in 1985, the Itasca Vintage Car Club had been hosting a swap meet at the fairgrounds for a few years when the Range Rods and Street Machines Car Club decided to add a car show on the Saturday of the same weekend. And that’s how “Weekend of Wheels” was born and it has become Northern Minnesota’s premiere annual car event.

Many things have changed since that first show was held at the Holiday Inn in Grand Rapids. About 50 cars showed up for the first show. The club later changed their name and became the Northern Cruisers. The event moved farther south for a couple years, and then down the road to Swanson’s Chevrolet a few years later as the club outgrew those first locations. The popularity of the show grew and the car count continued to rise. The club outgrew Swanson’s and the show was moved to its current location, the IRA Civic Center.

The car show has always been a judged show that now offers trophies in 25 different classes. This is one of the things car owners really like. Along the way the club started serving their “world famous” chicken-n-corn feed to all who attended. The day now concludes with a poker run/cruise that runs about 25 miles through rural Itasca County.

Weekend of Wheels is now a three day event. In addition to the Cruisers big show on Saturday it also includes the Northern Minnesota Car Show and Swap meet hosted by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. The swap meet takes place at the Itasca County Fairgrounds and runs Friday-Sunday. There is also a Show-n-Shine Car Show at the Fairgrounds on Sunday.

For this years show the Cruisers have come up with commemorative t-shirt and trophy designs to bring back the feel of that first show at the Holiday Inn. The show now boasts a car count that typically exceeds 250 cars on the grounds. You’ll see many different types of cars at this years event. Classics, Customs, Street Rods, Late models as well as new cars from our local dealers. The event runs from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and is open to the public. There is no admission charge to see the cars, but the club does accept donations at the gate which are donated back to various charitable organizations in our community. It’s easy to make this a full day event. The club has a pancake breakfast that runs from 8:00-10:30 and there’s concessions on the grounds as well.. There is a free shuttle bus running all day over to the Fairgrounds for the swap meet. You can start at one event grab the shuttle to the other one and then ride it back.

The club invites everyone to come join in there celebration this year and would like to thank all the great sponsors they have to make this event happen. For more information about the car show call Chuck at 218-244-0742 or email the club at weekendofwheels@hotmail.com.

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