Boise Festivals and Events
Capital City Cruise - Big Engines, Bright Colors, and Carbon Monoxide
Author's Note: After a supposedly one-time move from Downtown Boise to Meridian in 2012 due to a scheduling conflict, the Capital City Cruise was supposed to return to Downtown Boise this year. I even saw a space for it on the Downtown Boise calendar. Alas, that's not going to happen, and due to ongoing construction in Downtown Meridian, The Cruise won't be held at all in 2013. At this point, all signs are that it will return to Meridian next year due to an ongoing conflict with the Twilight Criterium, which is sad. Meridian is a nice burb and all, but Meridian's Main Street just doesn't have the same gravitas as Downtown Boise. Yep, I think I speak for a lot of folks when I say The Cruise just isn't The Cruise if it ain't rolling past the Capitol dome.
The Capital City Cruise is a car show that draws gawkers and gearheads from hundreds of miles away and car owners from even farther. For one evening in early July, the streets of downtown Boise are closed off and turned into a cruise route for hundreds of shiny, turbo-charged classic cars and trucks. And it is good.
Car lovers bring the whole family and line the streets with lawn chairs so they can have a front-row seat for the three-hour event. At times, it's a scene that only American Graffiti has come close to recreating. It'll make your father weak in the knees thinking about his first car or the car he always wanted but could never afford. Maybe you've been around long enough that it'll do the same to you.
This is a very popular event, with recent years seeing an estimated 450-500 cars and 10,000 spectators. So get there early and stake out a good place along the route. But take it from me, there are three items that you mustn't forget when you head downtown.
- Camera This is an obvious one, but don't forget to take extra batteries and memory cards too. Trust me, you can fill every single megabyte worth of storage space without even trying. The cars stretch forever, and you can play around with the evening twilight and downtown buildings to create some interesting shots of your favorite cars.
- Earplugs All those older, revved-up, mack-daddy engines create some serious noise, which only gets louder as it reverberates off the downtown buildings. This is a fact that is slow to creep up on you, and you almost have to go through it once to understand the cumulative effect. This could explain why the only earplugs I saw all evening were being worn by two people inside a 1970 Chevrolet Nova Super Sport, which at the time seemed a bit strange to me. I mean, it couldn't be that loud, could it? But that was early in the evening before things got going. As things really got moving, so to speak, I realized that I had been in the midst of indisputable earplug wisdom, especially on the walk back to the car when my eardrums felt like they had just walked out of a Van Halen concert that was held in a small metal utility shed. Look at it this way: with all those cars thundering by almost constantly, you can't talk to your buddies anyway, so why not be good to your ears?
- Oxygen tank and respirator I'm talking about the kind of equipment your emphysematic grandfather drags around with him everywhere now. Seriously, if you spend too much time breathing all of that thick, nasty car exhaust created by the what seems like the world's largest collection of smog-spewing hotrod engines, you'll blow out your lungs in 1/10th the time it took your grandfather, and you won't even get the joy of smoking for forty years. Hundreds of classic cars, plus downtown brick, concrete, and asphalt, plus 90° air with no wind equals a toxic exhaust cloud. When you leave, you'll be wondering if your headache is due to a lack of earplugs or the borderline asphyxia. It's probably both. At the very least, hope for wind, or choose your sitting location carefully, or take your scuba gear.
|Event:||Capital City Cruise (part of Northwest Motorfest)|
|Website:||Capital City Cruise|
|Fun fact:||If you love fast cars and fast women, you probably find both at this event.|