Check it Out: 7 great RI car shows to get you in a cruising frame of mind

Upcoming gatherings celebrate the beauty, fun, independence and nostalgia of classic cars, hot rods and motorcycles.

In the song “I Get Around,” the Beach Boys bemoan the routine, crooning, “I’m gettin’ bugged driving up and down the same old strip, I gotta find a new place where the kids are hip …”

If you’re looking for cool (as in hip) places to cruise this summer, then consider attending any number of upcoming gatherings that celebrate the beauty, fun, independence and nostalgia of classic cars, hot rods, motorcycles and more. 

July 11 | Oakland Beach Cruise Night

Held 4-8 p.m. every Tuesday at the Oakland Beach seawall in Warwick, this free event is sponsored by the Greater Warwick Lions Club. At each gathering, one vehicle is crowned “Car of the week.” Visit https://www.facebook.com/obcruznight/ for more information. 

July 15 | Summer Cruise-In 

This free motorcycle and classic car get-together will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ocean State Harley-Davidson, 35 Albany Rd., Warwick. Awards will go to top bikes and cars. Food will be available for purchase. For more details, call (401) 781-6866 or go to oceanstatehd.com.

July 22 | South County Balloon Festival

A car show is one component of the annual South County Balloon Festival — July 21-23 at the University of Rhode Island athletic fields on Route 138 in Kingston. The car show takes place 4 to 8 p.m. July 22 and is included in admission to the festival: $ 10 adults, $ 5 children 6-14; free for children 5 and under. There’s a $ 15 fee for every classic car participating, which covers the driver and one passenger. The Corvette Club donates 20 percent of the entry fee to charity. A total of 26 awards will go to the top judged vehicles. For more information, contact vetteflock@cox.net. For information on the festival, go to southcountyballoonfest.com.

July 30 | Knights of Columbus Show-Off-Your-Ride

The gathering will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Smithfield Middle School, Routes 5 and 104. There’s a $ 10 entry fee per car that will benefit the Knights of Columbus scholarship fund. Vendors, raffles and food will be available. Free for spectators. Contact pvsandman@yahoo.com for more information.

Aug. 6 | Classic Wheels for Wishes Show

This fundraiser for Children’s Wishes of Rhode Island, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions, will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mishnock Barn, 200 Mishnock Rd., West Greenwich. There’s a $ 15 entry fee per car. Free for spectators. Activities include music, door prizes and raffles. Food and refreshments will be available. For more information, call (401) 480-9769 or email mishnockbarn@gmail.com. or rlc0898@verizon.net. Rain date is Aug. 12.

Aug. 6 | Hot Rods & Harley Haul

Sponsored by the Rhode Island Street Rodding Association, a $ 10 fee admits hot rod and Harley drivers and passengers to this event, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in conjunction with the final day of the Charlestown Seafood Festival, at Ninigret Park on Route 1. Visit ristreetrodding.org or call (401) 258-3278 for more information.

Aug. 13 | Automotive Extravaganza

The show is free for spectators, but there is a $ 10 fee to register a classic car. Proceeds will benefit the Johnston Little League. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Johnston War Memorial Park, 1583 Hartford Ave. It will include vendors and fresh-grilled food. A total of 75 trophies will be awarded. Go to ristreetrodding.org for more information. 

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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