LTE: Car show cooks up business during annual cruise-in – Osage County Online | Osage County News

LTE: Car show cooks up business during annual cruise-in

Dear Editor,

What is the economic benefit of the Twin Lakes Cruisers’ Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show to the community? It is bringing in over 250 vehicles (with approximately two people per vehicle) and 1,000 plus spectators to the downtown area in a six to eight hour period of time. Purchases of food, items of interest, future return shopping, the exposure of the business community is tremendous. It creates a fun atmosphere of viewing all types of vehicles, old and new, good music, entertainment, people visiting and having an enjoyable time.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, marked the 18th annual Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto show sponsored by the Twin Lakes Cruisers. The downtown streets were rumbling with the thunder of cars, trucks, vans, classic, muscle, antiques, street rods, rat rods and motorcycles ranging from the 1929 and before to the 2000 and after eras. We were excited this year to include in the show two electric cars in the mix of the other vehicles. They were a 2021 Tesla and 2015 Tesla. The drivers made a weekend trip starting from Colorado Springs and Littleton, Colo., on Friday, arriving in Topeka Friday and coming to Osage City Saturday for the show and traveling back to Colorado on Sunday. They were very interesting to visit with, and were anxious to share information and enjoyed answering questions about the electric cars with the interested spectators. They even gave a couple of the group a ride after the show.

The Twin Lakes Cruisers welcomed approximately 275 entries coming from Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado and all parts of Kansas. Throughout the day included approximately 1,000 plus spectators that enjoyed viewing the vast array of vehicles that lined both sides of Market Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street and also the side streets on Sixth Street.

The participation of the entrants and spectators have continued to increase each year since the beginning. The first year, 2005, we had 140 entries; in 2016, there were 325. The attendance depends a lot on what type of weather Mother Nature will produce for the day. The owners of the multi-dollar vehicles don’t care to get their toys out in inclement weather, so their choice weather is sunny and warm with no forecast of rain, hail, sleet or snow. The group have only had three cancellations throughout the 18 years – two were due to inclement weather (snow or freezing temperatures) and one due to COVID. The event draws spectators into the community from the surrounding counties and the entry participants come from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and of course, across the state of Kansas.

Moving to downtown from the Jones Park, old school track area has been a huge bonus for the event. Through the cooperation of the local businesses, KDOT and the city allowing the closing of the downtown main street and major highway has allowed us to have a top-notch setting for the participants and spectators. Having the paved streets is a favorite of the participants, not having to worry about parking on grass or mud. The paved streets have opened up the opportunity for everyone to enjoy the event, whether it be on foot, stroller, wheelchair or motorized scooter.

The local businesses have been very cooperative with the fact that the streets are closed, and therefore, parking in front of their stores is altered. However, the foot traffic that goes through their store in one day surpasses a normal Saturday shopping day. Perhaps, some are just looking, some are buying, the exposure of the business community is tremendous. The feedback from the businesses has been positive. Additional enjoyment of live music was provided by the Rob Wade Band.

Our major sponsorship has grown tremendously from four to 34, over the past 18 years. The majority of the sponsors are local businesses and their support is greatly appreciated by the Twin Lakes Cruisers. Their sponsorship is widely spread by means of their names on the back of our T-shirts and individually on the 68 awards that are presented to the selected winners of the car show.

We were proud to have among the many that attended the event, our city police officers, and the Osage County Sheriff’s personnel including Sheriff Chris Wells, Undersheriff Scott Brenner, Sgt. John Knapp, Deputy Chris Ericson, Deputy Megan Osladil, Deputy Blake Reker, Deputy Jackie Beatty, Deputy Felix Nunez, and communications director Bret Lewis. They selected one of the specialty awards, the “Thin Blue Line” award. There are various options as to how to represent the thin blue line, however, our group chose the thin blue line flag which stands for the sacrifice law enforcement officers of this nation make each day. We continue to express our appreciation, respect and thank you for the service they provide to Osage City and the surrounding communities.

The Twin Lakes Cruisers are a group of approximately 20 car, truck, motorcycle enthusiasts who continue to organize and sponsor the shows. The group considers the show a “labor of love” and continues to grow with new interested enthusiasts each year. The group participates in the Osage City parades and also participates in car shows throughout the county and surrounding areas. The Twin Lakes Cruisers are a non-profit group and throughout the past 18 years have donated approximately $13,000 to individuals and foundations by means of having a 50/50 pot at the car shows (half of the winnings go to the winner and the other half goes to the designated party the day of the show) and hosting a silent auction and dinner.

The Twin Lakes Cruisers appreciate the cooperation and support of the community for this event. We would welcome you to check out our website and view the photos and video links at

Jeanette Swartz, Twin Lakes Cruisers

Powered by WordPress