Monday, March 1, 2021
March 1, 2021

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Impromptu cruise takes over Vancouver’s Main Street

Cars line up for more than a mile

By , Columbian Features editor

Hundreds cruised Main Street in downtown Vancouver on Friday evening, with a stream of cars stretching a mile-and-a-half north from Sixth Street.

Neil Brislawn Jr. instigated the impromptu cruise through a post on Facebook inviting people to “park, cruise and help support local businesses.”

Most Main Street businesses are closed due to Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-home order to prevent spread of COVID-19, although some restaurants are open for takeout.

Brislawn urged participants to use proper social distancing. People clustered in the Dairy Queen parking lot and along the street.

Drivers seemed to be enjoying themselves without incident as of 8:30 p.m. “It was a nice day and I just wanted to bring out the truck,” said Brandon Johnson of Vancouver.

Cruising Main Street was a weekend pastime in the 1950s, ’60 and ’70s. Clogged traffic and fights eventually led police to drive cruising out of downtown. In 2009, car enthusiasts revived cruising for one night a year each July and called it Cruisin’ the Gut. Trap Door Brewing owner Bryan Shull took over organizing that annual event, which was renamed Cruise the Couve in 2017. Shull said Friday’s cruise was unrelated to Cruise the Couve, which is canceled this year due to COVID-19 safety measures.

Vancouver police were out Friday monitoring Main Street traffic.

“Nobody is doing anything illegal,” Officer Eric McCaleb said. “It’s just a bunch of people driving about 2 mph.”