Car enthusiasts invited to 'Cruisin' to the Park' gathering

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Cruisers enjoying carry-out from local restaurants at Ingleside Park, from left, are Jeff and Sue Meyer, Shelly and Randy Weeks, and Jim and Connie Niehaus. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg’s own River Park Cruisers have organized a monthly ‘cruise-in’ at Ingleside Park north of Clayton Ridge Schools on the second Wednesdays in May, June, July and August at 6 p.m. “All car enthusiasts are welcome to bring food, drink and lawn chairs and enjoy the display of cars,” said David Bahls, River Park Cruisers chairperson. 

Cruisers gathered for the first event, called Cruisin’ to the Park, on Wednesday, May 9. Many patronized local restaurants for dinner, including Sodes Green Acre Café & Country Market, which is offering cruise-night specials. In the past, the River Park Cruisers have enjoyed scenic drives for their Wednesday evening gatherings. “Instead of going out of town, we thought we’d spend some money in town and have a relaxing evening,” Bahls explained.

A popular pastime among car enthusiasts, valve cover racing, will also be part of the new cruise-in evening. Randy Weeks of Design Homes in Prairie du Chien is building a track for the valve cover vehicles, which are made by each participant according to specific rules. The cars have no engine or propulsion and are launched from an inclined track. 

Winning cars are those that go the farthest distance. Builders get creative with wheels, some using skateboards, CDs, or in-line skate wheels, but the vehicles must be based on an actual valve cover and nothing can extend beyond the front or back of the cover. Cars can’t weigh more than eight pounds and dimensions are also regulated. For a full list of rules, contact Bahls at 563-252-1336. 

On Wednesdays other than the second one of the month, the group meets at 6 p.m. at the gazebo by the marina visitor center on the south end of town. They depart at 6:30 p.m. for an out-of-town cruise and meal at a restaurant.

The River Park Cruisers formed in 1992 and membership now consists of over 50 couples. The board of directors includes chairpeople David and Sheryl Bahls, vice chairs Don and Jeanne Niosi, secretaries Stan Blair and Karen Kulper, treasurers Chuck and Marsha Brainard, James Michelle Fassbinder, Jeff and Sue Meyer, and Mike and Joan Steffen. New members are welcome and can join by contacting Bahls at 252-1336 or while attending one of the monthly cruise-ins. 

The group will hold its annual car show and cruise on Saturday, Sept. 15, a day-long event that concludes with a dance at Lakeside Ballroom in Guttenberg. The popular car show takes place on River Park Drive in Guttenberg from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Car enthusiasts and curious observers alike stroll the street, checking out classic cars. The cruise begins at 3:30 p.m. and is followed by a performance of Backwater at Lakeside Ballroom. 

For more information on the River Park Cruisers or their events, visit, email or contact David and Sheryl Bahls at 563-252-1336.

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