Country Cruisers Car Club Hosts Annual Cruise and Show



Friday, Aug. 11: Show downtown at South Franklin St. from 5-10 p.m.
Games, food, and trophies.

Saturday, Aug. 12: Car show line-up starts at 2:30 p.m. at EZ Pickin’s.
Cruise starts at 5 p.m. and ends at the Bacon ‘N Hops Festival in downtown Manchester. Live music by Time Machine.

Sunday, Aug. 13: Car Show at the Delaware County Fairgrounds from noon to 3 p.m. (registration 8 a.m. to noon).
Awards presented at 3 p.m. Entry fee $15, spectator fee $2.

Runde Auto Group is a proud sponsor of the Country Cruisers Car Cruise and Show in Manchester, IA!

The annual event, set for Aug. 11-13 this year, features vehicles of all makes and models, games, food, live music, and more.

IMG_1815“It’s usually a nice laid back show,” said Sean Dailey, salesperson at Runde Ford Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and member of the Country Cruisers Car Club. “We do ours at the fairgrounds to give people a little more room to move around.”

The cruise on Saturday will cover about 75 miles in Delaware County. Vehicles of any year, make, or model are welcome at the cruise and show.

IMG_1813Awards are given in 44 categories, including Best Paint, Ladies Choice, Best Engine, Low Rider, Street Machine, Corvette, 2000 & Up Pickups, and more!

“We give out about four times as many awards as most shows,” Sean said. “We give out about 110 trophies the whole weekend.”

See all the award categories here.

The Best of Show winner gets a professional photo shoot by Kevin McCusker Photography and they are featured on the T-shirt the following yeIMG_1812ar.

The Country Cruisers Car Club, which organizes the cruise and show, has about 40 members. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.


“We have monthly meetings and we try to get together as a club for outings, shows, breakfasts, or lunches,” Sean said.


IMG_1814The club is brought together by their love of vehicles and also by a mission to help area organizations.

“Everything we do is charity-driven,” Sean said. “We give a lot of money to the Special Olympics and Operation Santa Claus. We gave away $3-4,000 last year.”

Learn more at the Country Cruisers Club website.

Gary’s Graffiti Nights – Come On Baby Let the Good Times Roll

Go to the Graffiti Nights Car Show next Thursday and you will see people who share a passion for the classics  glowing and having a great time as they share stories and chit chat with fellow enthusiasts. The show started back in the early 1980’s by a man named Gary Duster of Dubuque, IA.   Gary is a classics fan who wanted to share his love of the classics with the Tri-State community. As of late, the show has moved to East Dubuque, IL where it seems to have found a perfect home.

We got a hold of George Young, former owner of George & Dales restaurant and current Mayor of East Dubuque. With the help of his son and the support of the community, George gets things in order for the show to run weekly in East Dubuque.  He’s very enthusiastic about the show being in East Dubuque and he shared with us some information about it in a recent Q&A session.

Gary Duster - The Man Behind Graffiti Nights

How did the show start-up in East Dubuque?
It used to be over in Dubuque at Hudson’s Restaurant a few years back.  Once Hudson’s went out of business, Gary Duster was looking for a place to host all the cars. We arranged a meeting with Gary.  He had had a lot of other places make offers to host the event, but we convinced him to try out East Dubuque. Right from the start Gary loved it and decided to hold the weekly event in East Dubuque and it’s been a perfect fit.

How many years has the show been in East Dubuque?
This is the third year Gary has set up his show here. My son and I have been arranging for it to happen in East Dubuque for the last three years. It has been in several places over the 27 years Gary has done the show. They had it in the Eagles grocery store parking lot in Dubuque, Hudson’s… and well …  just all over. The car owners love having it in East Dubuque because they have plenty of room.  They don’t have to worry about scratching their cars and they love looking good going up and down the street.

What kind of preparation goes on behind the scenes?
Not really all that much.  Because Gary has been doing this event for 27 years, he has a large following so wherever he goes the cars follow him. He is the organizer of the actual show, we just set up the downtown area with prize tables and speakers for music.  The vehicle owners then come to park their cars and people freely come in and out to take a look.

What, would you say, is the overall goal of the show?
Simply to provide family entertainment … a place where people can get together and have some fun looking at some great cars. People love cars and there’s a wide range of people coming in, young and old. The car owners like to talk to each other and the people all have books in their cars of how it used to look and what they did to restore it.

Every once in a while there will be a band playing and there are prizes and contests that go on. Next week we will have 30 custom motorcycles coming in.  They are all very nice and there’s quite a bit of money invented in the bikes so it’ll be a nice addition to the show that people should look forward to.

How many cars usually show up?
In the last showing there were about 200 vehicles.  On average I’d say there are around 150 vehicles in the show.

This '29 Model T Ratrod was quite popular.

What is the most unique or rarest car you’ve seen at the show?
Just the other night there was a Ratrod and it drew the most attention. It’s a 29 Model T with a diesel engine in it. The owner actually drives that car back and forth every day. But there are cars that come in that are worth well over $100,000.   There are so many beautiful cars, it’s hard to pick a unique one because they’re all pretty unique.

Is there anything about the show that people may not know?
Gary puts all this together completely voluntarily. There’s no admission charge, no entry fee, no one has to pay anything, it’s something he put together to be a hassle-free social gathering. All of the prizes are donated.

Are there any requirements to get in?
You have to have a car that’s 1972 or older. It can be in any condition. You’ll see them with dents, without paint jobs, etc. As long as you can run it to the show it’s good to go.

Do the car owners get any kind of best in class awards or anything like that?
Nope, people come just for the love of cars and to be with the community. Just a night out to have a good time.

Have you gotten a good response from the community?
Oh absolutely, the city has always been 100% behind the event.

What kind of schedule is the show on?
It is every Thursday — May through September.   Registration is at 6:00 pm and it runs ’til 9:00 pm.

Anything else you’d like to add?
No, just people should stop by and see what it’s all about. It’s quite a nice night.

If you are looking for a great Thursday night activity any time this summer, head on down to Graffiti Nights on Sinsinawa Avenue in East Dubuque !

Gary’s Graffiti Nights Classic Car Show
At George & Dales on Sinsinawa Ave in East Dubuque, IL
Every Thursday Night May 19 – Sept 15
Registration Starts at 6:00p.m. Show Ends around 9:00p.m.

Kick Butt Fun To Be Had At East Dubuque Independence Day Celebration

untitledRaise your hand if you don’t like to have fun. Those of you who raised your hand can stop reading this post now, thank you for your time. For the remaining fun-loving individuals still here, listen up.

East Dubuque is having an Independence Day Celebration on Sunday, June 28th from 1pm ’til dusk. Runde’s is very excited that we are sponsoring and donating to this event but we are even more excited to go to it. We were so anxious for the event that we decided to kidnap Casey Klein, board member of the East Dubuque Business and Tourism Group, in order to gain more information about the event. 

So Casey, can you describe for me what the Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration event is?dsc05129
It’s an opportunity for the city to gather and celebrate its independence. The bottom line is that we are going to do that by having a parade, car show, games, and a fireworks display (held at dusk). There will also be fantastic live music being played throughout the day.

We’re not going to have a lot of sticky food on the grounds; we want people to come hungry because this year we are offering a meal as part of the events. East Dubuque Lions Club member Ben Andersen is a phenomenal chef. He’s partnering with John Diggman from Carlos O’Kelly’s to give people that come a fantastic meal from 4pm -7pm. Tickets are going to be between $6-$7 for the meal and there will be children’s alternatives to the main coarse – pork loin.

How long has the event been going on?
This is our third year of doing the event and every year it has been better and better. Last year the weather was a bit down, but it didn’t stop or damper the excitement. We get our fireworks from J & M Displays out of Yarmouth, IA. They do a fantastic job and we are happy to work with them.

Sounds like quite a bit of fun getting everyone together to make this event possible.
That’s what the Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration is about – getting the community together and having a great time. We are very grateful to the Carter Newt family for donating some property for the event — everyone in the community has been very helpful.

This is our branding year for the event. We are branding it in name – it will always be called “Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration,” always on the Sunday before the Fourth of July, always in East Dubuque, and it will always be from 1pm ’til dusk.

Tell me more about the car show.
The parade starts at 1 o’clock on the main street area – Sinsinawa Ave. the main parade route. From that location everyone is invited down to the Midtown Marina where the car show will be held on the parking lot supplied by Sandy McDowell. Cars start arriving from 1 o’clock in the morning up until the time of the judging. It has been averaging 60-70 cars and we hope to see more every year. The show typically runs from 1 o’clock ’til 4 o’clock.

Is there any fee to enter?
Yes, there is just a $10 fee per head fir the car show. There will be a judging opportunity for things such as best in show and farthest driven car, etc to the people who take part in the event.

How is Runde’s helping out the event?
They are our main sponsor for the car show. Runde Auto Group is an anchor to the city of East Dubuque. They have always stepped up to the plate for any volunteer opportunities in the community. People love the vehicles that Runde’s donates, like the Split Decision Truck, it’s a gorgeous big, cool truck and people go “wow”… it’s just a great visual. Every year Runde’s comes in with a financial donation which is gracious, but more importantly they say “hey, we are in East Dubuque, we love this city, and we will continue to support this community.”

Thank you! And we do love this community and city; we want to see it shine.
It’s unbelievable how much it has grown, in the next year this will be a different town – it will be a city and events like this give it more recognition. We do need more help, though. Currently we only have five volunteers.  Last year we had 60 and we always need more. We start working on the next event, literally, the day after the last event ends and the more people that help, the better.

How many people usually come to this event?
Well, 2,000 people live in East Dubuque.  I’m going to throw out a guess that between 5 and 6 thousand people will show up. When the weather was down last year we still had more than 2,000 people come. People from all over the Tri-States came down for a great time.

Must be a pain to clean up, huh?
The local boy scouts and girl scouts are coming in at 8am on Monday and Mike Meyer, from The Glass Door, is going to provide lunch for everybody who volunteers. It will defiantly be worth the labor after such a great event.


Sounds like a really great time, huh?!  We are glad that we could help out with such a great event!  We’re looking forward to being at the event and socializing with the community. See you there guys!