As written by Ben A. Maerz . . .
"The year was 1981 when three local car guys - John Robinson, Ben Maerz, and Dwayne Ellis - thought that a local Cruise Nite would be a nice thing to have in Three Hills. Local Cruise Nites happen in the United States every weekend in a lot of the states. Many cars and people show up, so why not here?
"In the spring of 1981, a date was picked and posters were made for the first Saturday in June. The three guys traveled the province on weekends putting up posters in every town.
"The first Cruise Nite produced about 35 cars, the second about 70 cars. Every year since has gradually gotten bigger.
"In 1985, the Three Hills Street Freaks was formed. As the Cruise Nite was getting too big for three guys to handle, it was turned over to the car club.
"The cruise route has grown since the 1981 kickoff. Back then, the entire cruise could have been handled within a single block of the town's central downtown core. By 1987, the entire Main Street was being utilized. The 1994 Cruise Nite stretched over a 1.6km route and was still growing. Numbers in 1994 were around the 1400 mark for cars and 5000 spectators.
"Three Hills food and beverage outlets were filled to capacity all day and well into the night. Because of the size of the event, the need for more of everything became apparent. Church groups, the local swim club, all service organizations, and even ambulance volunteers have rallied to supply burgers, hot dogs, steaks, ice cream, and soft drinks to the hungry crowd.
"Over the years, Cruise Nite has gotten bigger and bigger with better and better cars showing up. In the year 2003, 1800 cars and 8000 people showed up for the event. Over the years, tens of thousands of dollars have been donated to local hospitals, fire departments, food banks, and other worthwhile causes.
"Cruise Nite has turned into the biggest event of the year for the town and also the largest fundraiser for service groups. The town workers do a great job cleaning streets, painting crosswalks, curbs, streets, putting out flowers, and just cleaning the town so everything is polished for this weekend.
"Cruise Nite has turned into one of the biggest ways to promote the town as people come from the four western provinces and some from the northern states. What a way to put your town on the map!"