“We’re calling it quits this year,” director Riccardo Sestito of the Langley Good Times Cruise-In – Western Canada’s largest charity car show – announced publicly Wednesday.
This comes after months of its directors considering alternative event versions to comply with provincial health guidelines that include a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.
“We thought of parking cars on the street having people drive by, looking from their cars. We thought of just having a swap meet on the Sunday,” the director said.
“We kept working to carry on the show,” elaborated Sestito, who even had American In-N-Out Burger operators on board to try and come across the border and pop up in Aldergrove on Sept. 12.
“But our hands are tied,” he said, with COVID-19 too serious of a concern to ignore.
Sestito informed the California-based restaurant chain about the cancellation on Wednesday.
It’s likely that “they couldn’t actually have crossed the border,” he added.
Additionally, “there would have been people not wanting to attend because they’re afraid of getting sick,” Sestito voiced.
“And a car show is only as good as its last.”
The annual display of cars has survived for nearly a quarter century with a team of 200 volunteers facilitating a lineup of hundreds of new and restored cars in support of Langley charities.
“It is with a heavy heart we have to cancel it again,” Sestito told The Star.
The only other cancellation of the Cruise-In was in 2010, after controversy ensued over burnouts occurring that same weekend in Langley City.
Following that, the car show relocated to Aldergrove, where it plans to stay “until the end,” the director said.
“We’re not changing our venue.”
Sestito has been with the Langley Good Times Cruise-In right from its humble origins as a downtown Langley business initiative in 1997.
He’s seen it grow into an international charity event with tens of thousands of spectators and car collectors swarming Aldergrove streets.
People who pre-registered to show their vehicles will be given a full refund of their money, unless they chose to forfeit the funds to the Cruise-In’s chosen charities this year.
“We will still be fundraising online with a link on our website,” Sestito said, encouraging people to donate.
The next Langley Good Times Cruise-In is scheduled for Sept 11, 2021.