Battle Ground Harvest Nights Cruise set for July 15


As Battle Ground’s annual Harvest Days festival approaches, a key part of the tradition will return to the joy of car enthusiasts.

Classic cars will travel down Main Street during the Harvest Nights Cruise on Friday, July 15.

Battle Ground Festivals Association organizer Kendra Laratta expects about 300 cars to take part in the cruise this year. Laratta is excited to see what kinds of vehicles show up to this year’s event.

“There’s going to be a lot of cars, a lot of fun,” she said.

The route will be the same one used in previous iterations of the event. Cars will travel down Main Street, turn around and then come back again.

“Anyone from the McDonald’s or from Fifth Street East on either side of Main (Street) should get a good show as far as being able to see the cars cruise in,” Laratta said.

This year’s event will only feature cars from 1980 or older during the “ultra-classic car cruise.”

Cars will line up at Battle Ground High School at 3 p.m. The cost to participate is $20 and must be paid in cash.

Laratta said burnouts will not be allowed since those kinds of activities have caused problems in the past in Battle Ground.

“We really do care about the safety of the people that are attending as well, and we want everyone to have a good time and not have to worry about something inadvertently happening or some kind of an accident that could happen when you have people out there doing things like burnouts,” she said.

Laratta noted the cruise tends to have “a pretty wide variety of cars” in various conditions from “the really high-end finished ones” to “your old bug that you’re out cruising in.”

Cruise organizer John Idsinga has a love for cars from the 1950s, which is the era he grew up in.

Seeing cars from that time period always brings a smile to his face every year.

“I was a teenager in the ‘60s, as well as the late ‘50s,” he said. “I love a 1957 Chevy, a ‘55 Chevy. I (also) love the Bucket Ts. ... Everything else falls into play, but I’m kind of an old-timer when it comes to those types of cars.”

He said people “really take pride” in their older cars and many choose to stick with the ultra-classic theme for that reason. Idsinga said he wants to provide the younger generation with a chance to view classic cars. His favorite part of organizing the event is all the volunteers who come out to support the effort.

“We’re always looking for volunteers. We never turn volunteers down,” Idsinga said.

Laratta’s love for the Battle Ground community is what compels her to organize the Harvest Days festival as a whole.

“I love bringing something good to the community,” Laratta said. “This community really does enjoy the car cruise, and we get a lot of families and people that come out to watch, and it’s nice to be able to do that for our community.”

She said on a typical year 3,000 to 4,000 people turn out to watch the cruise.

The Harvest Nights Cruise will run from 6 to 10 p.m. on July 15.

More information can be found online at battlegroundfes cruise-in.