Just about every town has its cruise night. Some are widely known and highly attended such as Detroit’s famous car cruise nights on Woodward Avenue that bring out hundreds of vehicles and have been a spectacle for generations of car lovers, while others are intimate and small-town affairs consisting of a handful of cars with next-door neighbors. And as can be seen in the video above, Escondido, California has something no less grand, and yet it’s as much a home-town affair as you can find.
The Cruisin’ Grand Escondido car cruise held on Grand Street in the northern San Diego County city of Escondido, has been going on every Friday night for years and is one of the greatest ongoing traditions in Southern California. Cruisin’ Grand Escondido is a free event and runs for six months through the early summer to the fall, bringing more than 5,000 visitors and car enthusiasts in to check out the 500+ cars lining the streets of historic downtown Escondido.
Cruise nights run for from April through September, and start at 5:00 pm and go until 9:00 pm. Live music is featured on the bandstand, and the local eateries, cafes, pubs and specialty retail stores stay open late to accommodate the cruise night crowd.
It’s kept simple and is focused on 1973 and earlier American-made Classics, Customs, Vintage, Muscle and Hot Rods cruising Grand Avenue, just like they did 50 to 60 years ago, on a Friday night. The city invites those same cars to park on Grand Avenue and side streets after the cruise to enjoy the early 50’s setting of historic downtown Escondido.
There is a “reserved” parking area for local/regional ’73 and earlier American-made Car Clubs who pre-reserve a night. Call (760) 746-8461 for car club reserved parking. Five selected cars will receive awards each night, and there is no pre-registration needed and no fees charged to enter. For more information, check out crusingrand.com.