The Summer Snowman
July 4th weekend 2021, brought back a long lasting show of 25 years in the city of North St. Paul, MN. The NSP History Cruzers show, which is held on the main street of North St. Paul every Friday evening starting at 6pm. Vehicle cut off year is 1974 and older, so if you're driving a newer Mustang or even an early 90's Porsche, expect to be turned away to general parking. But certain exceptions can be made, though rarely as I've seen newer COPO Camaro's and such in the past few years. Held in the small town of North St. Paul, MN which is just off of Highway 36 and between McKnight Road and Highway 120/Century Avenue, the main street is filled with classic cars not only in the streets, but also in the various lots through the boulevard.
All sorts of classic vehicles can be found here. From work in progress, full restorations, modernized classics, custom builds, street builds, race builds, and even TV/Film replicated vehicles. Nothing within the years us turned away as you can also see a variety of sizes like bicycles and strollers to larger Semi-tractor trailers and military vehicles. Practically every car drives in and parks, with the occasional drive down the strip. Majority of cars and not just show, but also go...with beautiful 454 Chevelles to even a Pinto with a shoved in 302. With beautiful curves and lines, wonderfully applied paint, gorgeous crafted interiors, and the sound and power to haul-ass, what these cars bring to the table can only be accomplished by a few with newer cars today.
During the show, you can find many vendors and shops that are open to the public. Practically every Antique shop like Main Drag Vintage & Collectibles are open later than normal just for the show plus the bars like Neumann's are available as well. Neumann's in particular, is renowned as the oldest bar in Minnesota for serving it's customers since 1887. For the little ones, you can always find Luv Ice Cream on the strip for a treat, especially on those warmer Friday nights. But even if you take those out of the equation, there are food trucks and trailers galore up and down the main street serving all sorts of food and treats. Mobile servings of food that can meet almost any appetite like Tot Boss, Snack Shack, Hometown Creamery, and even the Candyland cart for example. With live music, food and shops, there's always something to do for the few hours that the show runs for.
There are themed nights for certain dates as well. Mainly placed on by sponsors, each Friday can showcase a certain style or group of vehicles. The last time I went down with my son, was because it was a "Truck-Night" featuring larger, commercial Vehicles like Firetrucks, Buses, and police vehicles new and old. The MN Impala Club, MN MG Group, and Cops N Rodders are a few car clubs to name that will be sponsoring shows this year with local businesses to bring you entertainment, specialty cars, and even award dash plaques to a selected few cars for the night.
All in all, The classic small town feel with the mix of music, food, and cars brings in a wholesome environment for the entire family to enjoy. The organization of the show that started in 1996 with around 25 cars, has grown enormously over the years with almost several hundred cars each night. Owners are always willing to chat and so are the volunteers about the show, cars, or just about life in general at times. The shops and food vendors are always welcoming and pets are allowed as well during the show, just clean up after them when needed. This show provides a view of how a show can become well run, long lasting and continues to grow in popularity. A prime example that I not only hope the current trend and generation of car enthusiasts can be and become, but hopefully for the next generation to live up to as well. If you haven't been to a NSP Cruzers show, regardless of your vehicular interests, you need to attend at least one once in your life. And who knows, you may find a celebrity at some point like Chip Foose who stopped by once.