Downtown Effingham was filled with sounds of revving engines last Friday for the first Cruise night in years. Hundreds of vintage and custom vehicles cruised both ways down West Jefferson Avenue while a huge crowd looked on and enjoyed the show. Vehicles lined up outside Martin’s IGA and cruised down to the old courthouse and back. Local businesses had displays along Jefferson and there was a huge line for HiBoy burgers outside the old the courthouse. Mark Mayhood, owner of Northside Ford in Effingham and one of the event organizers, said that they had a lot more people show up than expected.
Car enthusiasts had a chance to show off during the cruise as many parked and chatted with onlookers about their vehicles. One such enthusiast was Ron Harris, of Effingham, who came to town in his 1932 Ford Coupe. The car was a fixer-upper when Harris got it. He said it took “lots of body work, paint, and patience. Mostly patience and a lot of money.” to get it restored.
Cody Willenborg, owner of CW Motorsports in Effingham and Cruise Night sponsor, was at the event with several off-road vehicles. He said the Cruise night brought the community together.
The event was put on by local businesses who were involved in Thursday Thunder, a monthly get together for bikers and car enthusiasts throughout the Summer. There was also a beer garden set up outside Village Wine and Gift Shop, another event sponsor, that featured live music from the Jed Adam Band.
Plans are in motion for next year’s event. Mark Mayhood said they’d “do it bigger and better next year.”