Column: Good times and great burgers at Langley Cruise-In

The Langley Good Times Cruise-In is a hugely significant community event.

It has grown from small beginnings along the one-way portion of Fraser Highway to its present size because it fills a need for a large car show in a superb viewing venue, and because it is supportive of so many local charities.

The Cruise-In board, many of whom have been working on this annual event for years, do so because of their love of the community.

This intersects with their passion for restoring, driving and displaying collector vehicles.

As with all successful events, predators try and piggyback on the success.

In 2014, organizers first noticed that there were a few scalpers lining up for tickets at the popular In-N-Out Burger concession. Last year, there were many more.

In-N-Out Burgers is a California-based chain that can only be found in certain U.S. states — none of which are anywhere close to Canada.

For a good number of years, the chain has brought its In-N-Out Burger Cookout Trailer north to be part of Cruise-In.

It has donated significant funds to the charity and made a lot of friends with its good food.

It fits in perfectly with the Cruise-In theme.

Unfortunately, there is always a limited number of burgers that the concession can sell, as In-N-Out brings most of its supplies with its truck.

As Cruise-In has become more popular, and word of mouth about In-N-Out gets around, that boosts demand. Lineups at In-N-Out are consistently long.

Scalpers last year were buying 25 tickets at a time for burgers and then reselling them as the day went on for up to three times what they had paid.

This is unconscionable, but it speaks to how greed is always present in some people’s hearts.

Cruise-In organizers are putting a stop to it this year.

Anyone who has met members of the organizing committee knows that they mean business, so this year the number of tickets that anyone can purchase will be limited —probably to four or six tickets.

This is a good move and will give as many people as possible a chance to enjoy an In-N-Out burger.

Some people have wondered aloud why the chain simply doesn’t sell more burgers at Cruise-In. The main reason is that it brings its own supplies here, and can only bring along so much on what is a lengthy trip to get here.

It may be possible that there are also issues at the border which prevent In-N-Out from bringing more, but that’s just speculation on my part.

The company has been a huge contributor to Cruise-In, both to the bottom line and to the general atmosphere of the show.

Cruise-In is bringing back a very popular feature of past events this year.

On the Friday night before the show (Sept. 9), there will again be an outdoor movie night at the Twilight Drive-In in Aldergrove, along with a sock hop.

This has been a great event in the past — people in the show driving their vintage cars to experience a drive-in movie, something that is a real rarity today.

People along the route from Langley City to Aldergrove have gathered, just to see the parade of cars.

The theme of this year’s Friday event is American Graffiti Returns, and the event is sponsored by the Ron Dunkley Memorial Society, a Langley-based charity.

The car show itself takes place on the streets of Langley City on Saturday, Sept. 10. It is always worth a visit. While many of the cars on display belong to people who are regular attendees, there are always some new and very interesting displays.

There is plenty of entertainment, and the overall atmosphere is one of relaxation and enthusiasm for a golden era.

The organizers work very hard to make each show special and unique, and for some reason, they almost always hold the event on what turns out to be a warm, sunny day. The combination is irresistible.

This year’s Cruise-In sounds like it will be as good as ever, and it’s a safe bet that many Langley residents will be there to see the show.

Frank Bucholtz is a retired editor. He writes monthly for the Langley Times, as well as sharing his insights on his Frankly Speaking blog. It can found at frankbucholtz.blogspot.ca.