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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

The Coolest Cars Gather for the 25th Year

Gig Harbor Cruisers Club revving up to host the 2023 ‘Cruise the Narrows’ Car Show

By Allison Pollock-Pugh

Photos by Kim Mackenroth, Charter Member Gig Harbor Cruisers Automotive Club

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From vintage collectors to car-obsessed kids, families and car-lovers meet each year at the Cruise the Narrows Car Show to swoon over immaculate vintage models and the newest features in speed and style. Hosted by the Gig Harbor Cruisers Automotive Club, the show attracts car enthusiasts from throughout the area while raising funds for local youth activities, charities and educational scholarships.


Founded in 1997, the goal of the Gig Harbor Cruisers Automotive Club is to come together over their love of cars and share it with the community—helping others in need or just seeing the delight these one-of-a-kind cars bring.


“We started the club because we wanted to get people together who love cars. We wanted to include everyone—not just collectors or those with a specific type of car, but any and all car fans,” says Renée Crist, founding member.


Members gather together for monthly club meetings, plan social outings, tech sessions and cruise-ins, but they are also a fan favorite for parades, community and charity events, and their annual Santa’s Village Lighted Car Parade in December.


During the 2020 pandemic closures, the club organized drive-by car shows at local nursing homes and senior care facilities. When things started reopening, club members wanted to help local businesses bounce back and restore community events. Charter member Mitch Mackenroth says, “The car show is an opportunity for local business owners and business professionals to participate by either sponsoring a club member car or attending the show as a vendor in one of our vendor spaces.”


Chris Olsen, owner of Fondi’s Pizzeria and car show sponsor, shares, “We at Fondi Pizzeria are absolutely blown away by the success of the Cruise the Narrows Car Show. Gig Harbor really knows how to come out and support the locals—and enjoy pizza too!”


On the 25th year of the Cruise the Narrows Car Show, the club has become a big part of the community, exemplifying its mission to make friends, have fun and give back to the community—providing more than $100,000 in scholarships to local youth pursuing careers in the automotive and trade industries. Mitch continues, “Our goal is to help the Gig Harbor community in as many ways as possible—scholarships, business advertising and promotion, and the draw of a few thousand-plus people for a fun day at our show every year.”


Even after a quarter-century, club members take great pride in the car show, hand-selecting winners in dozens of categories, including favorites by vehicle make, decade built, muscle car, 4x4, kids’ pick, and under-20 cruiser for new car buffs. Winners receive custom, hand-crafted trophies built by club members out of donated parts, which are welded into creative designs and painted for a one-of-a-kind trophy.


This year’s annual Cruise the Narrows Car Show will take place from 8am to 3pm on August 5, 2023, in the Uptown Gig Harbor Plaza parking lot. Participants range from Volkswagen clubs to hot rods, foreign and domestic vehicles, American muscle and iconic classics—like the Ford Model T. It’s a day for everyone to get out and enjoy their community while checking out some of the coolest cars in history.


For additional details about this year’s event, be sure to visit GigHarborCruisers.com/car-show.html.



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