Huge Langley car show nixed for 2010
By Roxanne Hooper, Langley AdvanceJanuary 7, 2010


Photograph by: ..., Langley Advance files

METRO VANCOUVER -- There will be no Langley Good Times Cruise-In for 2010, and maybe beyond. The announcement was made to sub-committee members Wednesday night and then to the Cruise-In's charities of choice Thursday.

It means a hundred thousand visitors from around the world, and all of the economic benefits this car show brings to this community, could be gone forever, said president Riccardo Sestito.

"The Cruise-In committee, the directors, and the subcommittees have decided not to hold a Cruise-In this year," Sestito said Thursday. "I'm heavy hearted doing this..." he said, but explained the organizers are taking one year off, maybe more.

There were several factors leading up to what Sestito described as "an incredibly tough decision." Burnout, politics, bureaucracy, the economy, a lack of merchant support, and safety concerns were among the paramount reasons given.

When asked to elaborate, he said: "We will be issuing an official statement early next week explaining some of the reasoning." In particular, Sestito explained, the 13th annual show this year did not come together easily. And for a volunteer group - made up primarily of people juggling work and families - Cruise-In has taken its toll.

When a volunteer job becomes more difficult, demands more of your time, and occasionally gets nasty, participants have to ask themselves if they want to continue to be involved, he explained. That's where many of the people are, those who have been involved behind the scenes with the Cruise-In for years.

"It was never about personal gain for me, the directors, the subcommittees, or any of the volunteers," Sestito said. "It was about the cars and the community. Putting on a quality car show and helping out some great charities in our community."

Announcing the possible demise of Langley Good Times Cruise-In is one of the hardest things he's ever done, Sestito said, noting Langley's car show has grown into one of the largest and best shows in the continent - possibly the world.

The Cruise-In society continues to exist, and Sestito said there is still a chance the event could be resurrected in future. "It might be just this year. With all of us getting a rest we might be ready to get back on the horse next year," he said.

But if the car show is not resurrected, the committee hopes it can still find another way to raise the money for the charities. Teri James was shocked and saddened by the news. As coordinator for the Downtown Langley Merchants Association, she said it will have a dramatic affect on the community.

"Of course, I'm sorry to see an event of this magnitude leave, but I do understand that after volunteering for 15 years, the organizers are tired," James said. "What people have to remember is that this event single-handedly brought more people to our community than all of the other events combined. Hearing this sad news, I want to thank the organizers from the bottom of my heart for all their hard work in the past."

Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender was taken completely by surprise, and expressed disappointment he wasn't given a "heads up" about the sabbatical. "That's caught me a little off guard... I'm quite shocked and quite disappointed. It's been a great event for the City," he said. "I applaud the contributions they've made to the community."

Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Vancover, Canada

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