CRUISE NIGHT: Arboretum at South Barrington

Classic cars parked at the Arboretum in South Barringonton, Illinois.

This past Wednesday, May 30th, marked the kick-off for the classic car cruise night held at the Arboretum shopping center in South Barrington, Illinois. Now in its second season, once 6pm rolled around the vintage machines drove in and quickly jammed the lot around the tree-lined plaza. Musical group, Owen Two, was on-site performing live.

We interviewed Allison Krupp, the Director of Marketing for the Arboretum, back in March and gleaned some behind-the-scenes details on the cruise. We’ve reposted our conversation below – accompanied by photos from this week’s event.

Classic cars parked at the Arboretum in South Barringonton, Illinois.

How did the cruise get started?

“Last year we were approached by a local resident named Don Borg. Don is an avid vintage car collector and exhibitor. He suggested that we begin a Cruise Night here at the center. One of the core missions of The Arboretum of South Barrington is to provide local residents and communities, Americana events for families that bring a feeling of neighborhood and community. The Cruise Night was the perfect addition to these events.”

Classic cars parked at the Arboretum in South Barringonton, Illinois.

What were the busiest nights? 

“Cruise Nights are supported and sponsored by the Arboretum’s tenant partners. The events that drew the most attendees were those sponsored by Ruth’s Chris, Potbelly and Georgio’s. The restaurants support the event by giving the first 50 car owners free dinners and by providing guests drink and food specials. The largest events drew on average 4,000 people and about 200 cars.”

Classic cars.How many cars came out on average? 

“On average 150-200 cars. The busiest nights hosted in excess of 250 vehicles.”

Owen Two performed at the South Barrington Classic car cruise night.


How did the live music come about? Will it continue for ’12?

  “The live music seemed a natural to add to the experience of cruise night at The Arboretum. The band performed by the fountain and they added a level of energy to car owners and visitors alike. People would come with lawn chairs and watch the band and enjoy the vintage vehicles. Yes we will definitely include like music and will also add children’s performers and fashion shows for the ladies. Potbelly will also provide additional live entertainment by their store.”

How many staff/volunteers does it take to put on the cruise each week? Classic cars parked at the Arboretum in South Barringonton, Illinois.

“3 Arboretum staff members and 4 police explorers and a police supervisor.”

What options are there for dining and food for those who come out? Anything new for ’12

“2012 will bring additional entertainment and programing. I have extended the classics car display parking to over by Ruth’s Chris and Potbelly, Coopers Hawk and Georgio’s so that the restaurants can serve visitors and car owners from their patio’s and cook out. In 2012 the Arboretum will take Cruise Night to a totally different level….”

Best time to arrive at the cruise? Classic cars parked at the Arboretum in South Barringonton, Illinois.

“Our “regulars” classic car owners begin arriving at 4:00pm to get their preferred parking spots by the fountain in the plaza. The entrance for classic car owners is on Bartlett Road. Car owners will be met by security personnel who direct them down main street to additional personnel and reserved parking. Visitors and guests can park anywhere in the numerous parking allotted at the Arboretum.”

Do you own a classic? What is your favorite car to see at the cruise?

   “No I wish I owned a classic…if I did it would be a GTO! I am partial to pick ups and most of all vintage Corvettes.”

Anything new and/or different for ’12?

“You have to come and see!!”

Anything else we should know about the upcoming season?  

“We are taking the ladies into account here and will provide a fashion focus for their pleasure. We are also interested in hearing from different entertainment groups who might want to perform at the center on cruise nights.”


The cruise will run every Wednesday through the rest of summer and if you want a parking spot, plan on getting there early.

**To find out what classic car events are going on near you, head to our Cruise Calender**

Click on an image below to view our full-size photo gallery.

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