Plainfield Chamber to Jump-Start Cruise Nights

After the shutdown of MainStreet Plainfield, the chamber will take over responsibility for organizing the summertime event.

Fans of Plainfield’s Cruise Nights can take heart: The downtown Plainfield classic car nights will be back this summer, according to the Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

The fate of the Tuesday night event was uncertain after MainStreet Plainfield — which was responsible for organizing Cruise Nights and other downtown Plainfield events — went out of business.

Read: MainStreet Plainfield Closes Up Shop

Board chairman Dave Kaleta said the chamber board met Thursday, voting unanimously to resume responsibilities for Cruise Nights, along with several other former MainStreet events.

The downtown “Spooktacular” Halloween-themed event and Candlelight Christmas will return this year under the chamber of commerce leadership, Kaleta said.

While it won’t be back for 2013, the Easter-themed “Egg’Straordinary” event will return next year, he added.

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“It won’t happen this year, just because there’s not enough time to plan,” Kaleta said.

Held Tuesday nights during the summer months, Cruise Nights has been a driving force in bringing people to downtown Plainfield. During the event, Lockport Street is closed to traffic to allow car enthusiasts to display their four-wheeled pride and joy.

“It’s a good fit for downtown Plainfield and it needs to be continued,” Kaleta said. “And we had the resources to make it happen.”

Cruise Nights 2013 are scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays from May 28 to Aug. 27, according to Kaleta.

… the search continues

In other chamber of commerce news, the board is still on the lookout for a new executive director following the resignation of Liz Collins.

“We’re about halfway through the search,” Kaleta said. The chamber will accept resumes until March 15. 

  • Plainfield Chamber Seeks Executive Director
  • Plainfield Chamber Chief Collins Resigns

For more information or to submit a resume, click here.


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OT March 07, 2013 at 07:42 PM
I do not understand the economic rational for continuing these cruise nights. Each week cruise night closes off a large part of downtown, while tying up traffic and creating additional headaches for commuters/residents. Plus, I don’t see any big dollars flowing into downtown from those that attend regularly. Perhaps if these were done in conjunction with something that would be more family focused, with the potential to pull in a wider and more diverse group participants they might make more sense. All I have seen on cruise nights is a bunch of older guys milling about admiring other old dudes' sweet rides.
Justin March 07, 2013 at 09:01 PM
I totally disagree with OT. Cruise nights are all about family! Me and my family go there to eat and look at the classics. They DO generate money from all the people eating at the restaurants and buying from the stands. And it's not that big of a deal closing off mainstreet. There are other ways to get to 59 or the opposite way. It's not like its Chicago. It's one street. I love cruise nights so much and can't wait to go back!!
jen March 07, 2013 at 09:30 PM
i could see doing it once or twice a month, but every week? I actually think more folks would turn out and spend more money if it was a little bit more of a novelty.
Anthony March 07, 2013 at 09:53 PM
Sorry OT but you might need glasses if all you see are old guys milling around admiring other old dude's rides. Whenever possible, my three kids, wife (who has zero interest in cars) and I head to downtown P'fld for dinner, dessert, and to take a nice stroll down Lockport St. The kids loved to stop into the toy store or to buy candy. My wife always goes into the clothing store to shop. And then we stop by the library to drop off/check out books. Oh, and while its true that the primary reason for Cruise Night is to drive consumer spending downtown, its also a great place to meet other Plainfield residents and participate in this crazy thing called a 'community'. So put down the iPhone, take a break from texting, your facebook page can wait a few hours for its next update, and enjoy some old school Americana.
jen March 07, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Cars are boring! Even more boring are people who like to look at and talk about cars!
PfieldJim March 08, 2013 at 05:05 AM
Cruise Nights are a great opportunity for all residents to get outside, visit the businesses downtown, let the kids play in the park, and maybe even check out an old (or new) classic car. We took my 78 year old mother-in-law last year, and to my surprise, she loved walking around and seeing the old cars. She said it reminded her of some many things from her youth. When we've gone to Cruise Nights, there have always been many people in the restaurants, buying ice cream or candy, and checking out the shops. Not sure how OT sees no positive economic impact. There's no way that many consumers would be in our downtown area on a Tuesday night without Cruise Nights. Thank you to the Chamber for taking on this, and other, activities for the community. While a car show might not be for everyone, it's great that we have diversity in our community and family activities. What one person might find boring, others might find interesting. It's great to see the Chamber be part of the solution in our community, not just part of the problem by ignoring needs and complaining about things.
Larry Valenzio March 08, 2013 at 01:14 PM
I'm so very happy that cruise night continues.. Cruise night is family oriented and a ace for family and friends to gather, check out the cool cars and get a bite to eat. It brings people into our community to see and enjoy our great town. Well done Plainfield!
Larry Valenzio March 08, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Sheila Raddatz March 08, 2013 at 01:30 PM
I think Cruise nights is a good thing for the community. It is free to attend and gets people out to meet other people in town. At the same time, I wish there were more 50's type cars. The few times I went, there were way too many 80's type cars. I guess they are considered "old" now but they just don't have the class and style of the previous generations. OR Am I just fighting getting old? haha
joe March 08, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Dear Jen, I'm so sorry that your life is boring, and you can't find anything to put a smile on your face. The people that build, and keep up these classic vehicles know more about electrics, engines, transmissions, and hydraulics then the average Joe. These are skilled, and intelligent people, unlike you.
Ruth Velazquez March 08, 2013 at 01:54 PM
A stroll during summer brings people together...whether it be meeting new people or eating ice cream...economy is not great and msny of us need time to get out and enjoy the little things we have in our community..without cruisenights down town would be a ghost town!!!
Jim B March 08, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Wow, I can understand some people having a problem with the streets being closed, but we are talking about just few hours each week. Consider that it OPENS downtown up to family and friends who just want to get off the couch and take a walk, look at some cool cars and grab a bite to eat. It's not like you can't drive around it. And unless I'm mistaken, seems the restaurants (who contribute taxes) are pretty full cruise nights. I spend a lot of money in gas at 8 MPG in my "old dude" classic car to get there to spend more money to eat. And yes, I mill around........but I call it socializing....... Plainfield Cruise nights are the envy of many towns in the area. It's done right and Joe and the rest of the volunteers do a great job, thanks you.
Lysa Heaton March 08, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Cruise night is nothing but fantastic for Plainfield residents as well as the Plainfield business owners downtown too. If you don't like cars Jen, grab a beer, browse some of the shops, maybe have a bite to eat.....maybe it will cheer you up a little ;) The cruise night is not about having to fall in love with cars! It's an opportunity to get the community together and to promote our lovely downtown for what it is. I for one and absolutely delighted to read that it will continue :)
Lysa Heaton March 08, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Deb A. March 08, 2013 at 06:53 PM
You said it, Tony! The talent, dedication, and hard work that goes into restoring classic cars is immense. It involves not only mechanical knowledge, but artistic talent as well. Having a place to showcase these works of art (YES, many of them are works of art, from the custom paint and interiors to the intricately custom built motor) not only bonds a community and families, but absolutely does provide revenue. Would you rather Naperville, Shorewood, or Oswego get the business? Nope, continue to showcase these cars in the beautiful setting that is downtown Plainfield.
Brian J May 28, 2013 at 07:54 PM
I love the cruise nights and look forward to tuesday nights to bring the family into town. I have 3 seperate cars and the whole faimly loves to head into town to eat in dads old rides.
Susan Gercone May 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM
I love Plainfield and love to attend when I can. Even if the "browsers" should not happen to buy anything, I am sure the folks bringing thier cars find it a pleasure to get a nice cold beer, and sandwich while they sit there for several hours...don't be such a grouch OT. So where are you going on Tuesday night that you don't like going to the next street to get out of town? Fill us in.


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