The Rapidian

Cruizin' the Calder to bring hot rods, people to Downtown Grand Rapids

The first annual Cruizin’ the Calder will feature more than 90 cars and fire safety information from the Grand Rapids Fire Department.

Cruizin' the Calder information

Where: Calder Plaza 

When: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Cars will cruise from Calder Plaza to Michael Avenue following the car show.


Grand Rapids Fire Department smoke detector installation program:

Register at Cruizin' the Calder to have GRFD review your house for fire hazards and install smoke detectors in your home free of charge. GRFD can install up to 11 smoke detectors in your home. Homes must be located within Grand Rapids city limits.

Grand Rapids Street Racers members pose in front of their cars.

Grand Rapids Street Racers members pose in front of their cars. /Courtesy of Grand Rapids Street Racers

Grand Rapids Street Racers (GRSR) has teamed up with the Grand Rapids Fire Department (GRFD) and Rescue 1 to present the first Cruizin' the Calder car show and cruise on Saturday, July 27. Cars will be on display at Calder Plaza from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"It's a free car show for the people and that's our way of giving back to Grand Rapids," says Dan Jackson, GRSR president.

After the car show, cars will cruise from Calder Plaza to a parking lot on the corner of 28 Street and Michael Avenue. The cruise will head south on Ottawa Avenue, left onto Monroe Center Street, turn right onto Division, and right onto 28 Street to end at Michael Avenue. A fire truck will lead the five-mile cruise. 

Anyone can register to enter their car in the car show. Same-day registration begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. Classic cars from the 1940s to modern day cars will be featured.

"Doesn't matter what year, what model, what make, if [the car] was nice we approached [people] about coming and bringing it down," says Jackson.

The fire department will be at the car show with information on fire safety. Registration forms will be available for GRFD's smoke detector installation program. An anti-distracted driving contract will also be available for teenagers and parents to sign for a free keychain and flashlight. Fire safety posters, coloring projects and activity bokolets will be available for children. 

Vito's Pizza will have booths at the event.

To raise money for the event GRSR sold keychains with a photo of La Grande Vitesse. Each keychain purchase reserved a spot on Calder Plaza for the car show. All event proceeds will go toward the fire department's Rescue 1 Fire Safety for Kids website. The site is currently ranked fourth in the nation for top safety sites, says Jeff Steere's president of Rescue 1.

GRSR was founded in 1970 and met in Downtown Grand Rapids until the early 1980s. With multiple car shows and cruises occuring annually near Grand Rapids during the summer such as the 28th Street Metro Cruise, GRSR wanted to create an event that attracted people back to Downtown Grand Rapids.

"We just got that thought in our head that well maybe we could bring something down here. Bring a free show down here where the people can come down, look at the cars, mingle with people and make something happen downtown," says Jackson. "If we could get something going on downtown to where the people come down there and visit the different bars and restaurants... that's helping the city and it's back to the roots for us."

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.