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Cruise to the Woods

In its 29th year, event brings in all makes, sizes and models

September 30, 2012
By JOE SUTTER, , Messenger News

Iowa's largest car cruise and show makes room for all manner of cars - even some that are smaller than you might expect.

This year, six kid-sized pedal cars decorated and customized by local body shops will be on display at the Cruise to the Woods car show at the Webster County Fairgrounds.

Now in its 29th year, this is the second year the show has included pedal cars, said WC Cruisers board member Mike Cupp.

Article Photos

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Tony Smith, a painter at Troy Waller Auto Body, shows off the pedal car he painted that will be raffled during the upcoming Cruise to the Woods car show.

"One of our members has a source where he got unfinished pedal cars, in primer," Cupp said. "We give them to local body shops and tell them, 'Take this pedal car and you can do anything you want to it. Paint it any way you want, put flames on it, customize it, chop it.'"

Anyone who enters a car in the show can vote on their favorite pedal car, and the cars will be given away to these participants in a free raffle.

Troy Waller Auto Body shop is one of the six participating shops. Waller said it was fun to work on something different.

Fact Box

If you go:

WHO: WC Cruisers

WHAT: 29th annual cruise/car show

WHEN: Oct. 7. Gates open 8 a.m. at Fairgrounds; cruise leaves Stratford for Fort Dodge around 11 a.m.

WHERE: Webster County Fairgrounds; cruise will begin in Stratford.

ADMISSION: Spectators $2 per person

ENTRY FEE for cars, $15 at the gate or register early at

"It's kind of spooky how many hours you get wrapped up in those little things. We probably got, I want to say 40 or 50 hours total in it," Waller said. "We welded up all the seams, lowered it about an inch and half in the suspension, basically did a blue-candy-pearl paint job on it with flames, did a little seat customization on it."

A silent auction will also be added to this year's show. A flea market will be held at the main building and vendors will offer a wide variety of food, Cupp said.

The Cruise to the Woods once ended at Briggs Woods in Webster City. It found its current home at the Webster County Fairgrounds about four years ago, as it outgrew other venues.

Last year more than 1,500 cars attended, and Cupp said he expects another great show. Cars come from all across the state, following 10 different routes. Some cars go directly to the fairgrounds, while others choose to converge on Stratford for the cruise.

"Around 11, 11:30, they all leave Stratford for Fort Dodge in a great big caravan," said Cupp. "Often by the time the last ones are leaving, the first ones are arriving in Fort Dodge. Usually there's about 800 cars down there."

WC Cruisers President Shawn Anderson said he was hoping for 1,700 cars this year.

Although other car clubs sometimes bring entries, the show is entirely run by the WC Cruisers, he said. The club now has about 75 members, but it is still tough to organize such a large event.

Next year will be the 30th annual Cruise, and the club is planning some extra events.

"We haven't even got this year's done and we're already starting to plan next years. It will be a three-day event," Cupp said.

"Next year we're going to have drag racing at the Humboldt County Speedway on Friday night. That will be for street cars only. It's just friendly grudge racing, for anyone who wants to go try their car out."

Saturday night will feature a concert by Richie Lee and the Fabulous 50s. Cupp said Lee is fairly well-known in this area for singing Buddy Holly's music.

Cupp said membership in WC Cruisers is on the rise. The club is inclusive - any car enthusiast can join, not just those who own cars. Similarly, the cruise is open to any type of car, not just the fancy ones.

"That kind of makes it fun. You don't have to have 20 grand wrapped up in a fancy car to come out and have fun," he said. "Just bring out what you've got, and display it. That way it gives a lot of people a chance to join in."



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