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Rev 'em up

In 1985, local car enthusiasts had what they thought was a simple idea: Get all the car clubs together and cruise downtown Medford.

As it turned out, it wasn't quite so simple. Permits were required, a detailed "cruise plan" had to be laid out, streets needed to be blocked off, street cleanup would be required and many more details needed to be addressed.

Luckily, the wheels kept turning, and the first Medford Cruise happened. In its 26 years, the Medford Cruise has grown to include activities appealing to all ages and drawing participation and spectators from around the region. With more than a dozen free or inexpensive attractions, the Medford Cruise is a not-to-be-missed highlight on the car-cruise circuit.

This year, the Cruise kicked off early with smaller car shows throughout the week at various locations.

While the Cruise has grown to include drag racing, drift-car driving, poker runs, all-model car shows, concerts, Shelby Cobra time trials and more, it's still wrapped around the one simple idea of cruising downtown Medford.

Proceeds from the Medford Cruise benefits youth programs throughout Southern Oregon. In 26 years, the event has raised more than $300,000 for such charitable causes.

Registration to Cruise events is available from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 15, at HomeTown Buffet, 1299 Center Drive, and from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at Hawthorne Park. Registration for the Unlimited Show 'N Shine will be from 8 to 11 a.m. at Hawthorne Park. Call 541-941-3509 or 541-951-6800.

Customized hot rods such as the one shown here, along with classic cars made in 1972 or earlier, will be featured at the 72 and Older Show N Shine on Saturday at Hawthorne Park. An Unlimited Show N Shine car show will be held Sunday at the park. - Mail Tribune file photo