By Barry Dalton
VANDALIA—Sounds of honking horns, revving engines and spinning tires could be heard at the corner of Main and State streets in Vandalia during the Todd Cutright/Van-Far Cruise Night Saturday evening July 18.
People of all ages sat in their front yards along the cruise route or found a spot downtown to car watch. Spectators said it definitely brought back memories for them.
“It’s what we did when we were kids. Everybody had a hot rod then,” said Junior Hubert of Curryville, who sat downtown with his wife, Dorothy, waving at the cars. “We grew up in the ’60s and there used to be street dances right there on Saturday night between the bank and the historical society. They’d have a live band. It’d be here, Bowling Green or Louisiana.”
The participants behind the wheels cruised around Vandalia, particularly in a loop between Hwy. 54 and Main Street, before heading out to the Vandalia Area Fairgrounds for food, music and a silent auction.
This was the second annual cruise night named for the late Todd Cutright. His friends presented a commemorative quilt to his sister, Tami Ekler, during the event. The memory of Rick Allen of the class of 1973 was also honored. After the presentation, the St. Louis band, Push, played into the evening. The cruisers listened to the music, and some even danced.
Many of the cruisers brought their own coolers, but for those that didn’t, the Vandalia Fairboard ran a food stand. Donations accepted at the fairgrounds’s gate went to the Van-Far Booster Club. Proceeds for the silent auction were donated to the Salvation Army and the Alzheimer’s Association.