Rose City Classics car club to host Planters Days cruise-in


With Planters Days in Woodland right around the corner, people can expect plenty of good food, a parade, and bingo, but another activity to look forward to is the car show and cruise-in.

On June 18 to June 19, the Rose City Classics car club will host the car show that will feature hundreds of  classic cars people can admire during the event.

The car club, which is based in Portland, is geared toward people with an interest in 1955, 1956, and 1957 Chevrolets.

“We’ve been putting on car shows for 25 years, so we expect people to be pleasant and have a lot of fun,” Rose City Classics chairman and vice president Vern Balkowitsch said. “We’ve been doing the Planters Days car show for the past 23 or 24 years.”

Balkowitsch said another club hosted the car show for several years, but Rose City Classics later took it over.

“This is the first year where all the money will go toward charity. We just don’t have a charity picked out yet because of the pandemic,” he said. “A lot of our charities are in hospitals, and we couldn’t get into the hospitals, so this year we’re generating the money, getting it going, and then when we’re done, all the money we raise at Planters Days will go to a certified charity.”

In the past, Balkowitsch said Rose City Classics donated to Chelsea’s Closet, Habitat for Humanity, helped build a building for women who are survivors of domestic violence, and took part in other notable causes.

He said people have expressed a lot of interest in the upcoming car show.

“I don’t see why we can’t have 300 to 350 cars up there this year,” Balkowitsch said.

Over the years at Planters Days car shows, some cars that caught Balkowitsch’s eye were Bugattis, Corvettes, Ford T-Bucket Pickups, and GT-500s.

“We’ve had one guy two years ago who brought his 2019 half a million-dollar GT,” he said. “We’ve had every car you can imagine up there, from exotics to sports cars, and foreign cars. I drive a 1959 Cadillac convertible myself and my wife drives a big block 1968 (Chevrolet Camaro) SS convertible. You’ll see cars you won’t see any place else.”

When people park their vehicles at the car show, Balkowitsch said Rose City Classics will collect donations, although it’s not required.

If they give us a donation, they’ll get a dash plaque that says ‘Planters Day Saturday Night Cruise-In,’ and if they don’t have the money for donations, we don’t ask for one,” he said.

On Sunday, June 19, there will be a Show N Shine where donors will also get a chance to win prizes like toolboxes, birdhouses, and other things which will be announced at a drawing during the event, Balkowitsch said.

The chairman noted this might also be Rose City Classics’ last year hosting the car show at Planters Days since he and other members of the club are older, and some are terminally ill.

In the following years, the Pacific Northwest Camaro Club in Federal Way will take over, he said. It will also be the last year Balkowitsch will serve as chairman.

The entry fee for cars at the cruise-in is $15.