Berwyn Cruise Nites off and running for the summer

Alan Benning (right) of Elmhurst dusts any road dust off his 1967 Avanti II upon his arrival at a 2017 Berwyn Cruise Nites in the Depot District. This year's Cruise Nites kicked off its ninth season June 5, and the local summertime tradition will run from 6 to 9 p.m. several Tuesday evenings in June, July and August.[]

BERWYN – Berwyn Cruise Nites kicked off its ninth season in the Depot District on June 5, and the local summertime tradition will run from 6 to 9 p.m. several Tuesday evenings in June, July and August.

Once again, Paisans Pizzeria is sponsoring the event, which attracts families and car enthusiasts alike. The show is open to all to show off their vehicles, and prizes are awarded in eight categories.

Each Cruise Nite has a special theme, and it is hosted by a local individual or organization.

Berwyn Firefighters Local 506 hosted June 5's Truck Nite, and 1st Ward alderman Scott Lennon will host the next Cruise Nite on June 19.

This is the first night Lennon has hosted, but he said he has always attended previous Cruise Nites. While there, Lennon will help judge the cars, present the awards and mingle with the hundreds of attendees.

“I like to support our city events, and it’s important for me to be there as an elected official,” he said. “Cruise Nite brings energy to the Depot District, and it’s a great showcase of cars in the area. Families come out, and they support the local businesses. It’s just a good, fun, family event where people can meet other community members and business owners.”

The Berwyn Development Corp. has organized Cruise Nites since it began in 2010, and since its beginning, the show has grown from just 10 cars a night to about 100. A DJ provides music, and the historic Depot District has plenty of options for dinner, drinks or ice cream treats.

Jousef Mondragon, former interim director of the BDC, said the Depot District is the perfect location for Cruise Nites because of its unique and eclectic feel, and the shows are great ways to bring people out on a weeknight.

“This is a very successful event. It’s really festive and very family-oriented,” he said. “We also get a lot of people from outside of Berwyn. There’s a brotherhood and camaraderie among car owners and enthusiasts. But it’s a great way for everyone to visit the Depot District and see the vitality taking place in that corridor.”

The public is welcome to show cars, motorcycles, trucks or scooters at no charge, and registration is not required. Vehicles should line up along Home Avenue, and the gate entrance at Clinton and Windsor avenues opens at 5 p.m. for the displays. Trophies are awarded at 8 p.m.


Berwyn Cruise Nites schedule

June 19: Orphan Car Nite hosted by alderman Scott Lennon

July 17: Pony Car Nite hosted by Italian-American Civic Organization of Berwyn

Aug. 7: Bike Nite hosted by Mayor Robert Lovero

Aug. 21: Jeep Nite hosted by Band of Brothers Pipes and Drums