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Cruise Night enjoys heavy traffic despite Carmageddon

Attendance was high despite worries about 'Carmageddon' blowback, organizers say.

July 18, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • Jesus Villareal, left, and his wife, Magda, walk by a 1954 Chevrolet Belair during Cruise Night, which took place along Brand Blvd. in Glendale on Saturday, July 16, 2011. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Jesus Villareal, left, and his wife, Magda, walk by a 1954…

GLENDALE — More than 45,000 people attended this year’s Cruise Night on Saturday despite concerns that the closure of the 405 freeway would hurt attendance.

Organizers estimated that 45,000 to 50,000 people visited Brand Boulevard, where musical acts performed as crowds perused more than 400 registered classic cars and other vehicles put on their best show.

Warnings of a “Carmageddon” during the weekend’s closure of the 405 Freeway — and calls for residents to stay home or local — didn’t impact attendance at the 18th annual car show, city spokeswoman Vicki Gardner said.

In fact, the stay local angle may have helped boost the event.

“As far as a positive impact, it may have helped because many of the visitors might have avoided going to the West side because of Carmageddon and came here instead,” she said in an email.

Some event participants came from as far away as Lancaster, Anaheim, Monrovia and Arcadia, Gardner said.

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Brand Boulevard was crowded with car lovers, who packed local restaurants and stores, Mayor Laura Friedman said.

“We had our Carmageddon on Brand Boulevard — the good kind of Carmageddon,” she said.

Traffic was light on the roadways, so officials said most visitors didn’t have any problems getting to Glendale.

The car show was from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. and extended from the 100 to 500 block of North Brand Boulevard.

“I think it is a big boost for all the businesses on the mid-Brand because people are actually here,” Councilman Ara Najarian said at the event. “They are able to see the businesses in a more relaxed setting, in a more friendly and entertaining way….so it is basically a huge promotion for all the businesses.”

Police officials reported no major incidents during the event, except for three to four parents who lost sight of their children and were quickly reunited after seeking help, officials said.

A 1923 Ford T Bucket was the oldest car registered in the event. Friedman presented the Mayor’s Trophy to the owner of a 1937 Chrysler DeSoto.

Megan O’Neil contributed to this report.
 
 

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