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Get Ready for the Road Kings Queen City Cruise

The Friday evening parade down Baker Street is just one of the events that bring out the crowds during the annual Road Kings Queen City Cruise. — Bruce Fuhr, The Nelson Daily

The Nelson Road Kings are ready to unveil its 17th edition of the Queen City Cruise this weekend in the Heritage City.

The Road Kings executive has been busy making sure no detail is left undone as the organization prepares to welcome as many as 400 entrants to the annual extravaganza that fills the downtown core of Baker Street Saturday for the main event, the Show n Shine.

“We like to see all the different cars that come and like to reconnect with all the people that come back year after year,” said Marcello Piro of the Nelson Road Kings when asked why for almost two decades the executive continues to organize the Queen City Cruise.

“It’s one of the biggest annual events in Western Canada.”

The Queen City got its start back in 2003 when a group of the Road Kings tour a show in Spokane.

After seeing the show south of the border, the group asked, why can’t Nelson host a similar event, and the Queen City Cruise was born.

“We love to see the crowds of people fill the downtown and the comments from the participants along with those who just come to walk around,” Piro explained.

The 17th annual opens with registration Friday at the Chamber of Commerce at the foot of Baker Street.

Registration, with Dallas and the Barber Shop Quartet providing the music, is followed by the classic parade at 6 p.m. through downtown before finishing near the Big Orange Bridge.

The street dance at Hall Street Plaza, in conjunction with the Nelson and District Arts Council ArtWalk Gala, follows at 7:30 p.m.

“We have also partnered with the Nelson Arts Council to have the Hall Street Dance over the past few years, which has worked well to help recognize local talent,” Piro said.

Saturday, Piro said the cars will begin to fill up Baker Street bright and early as owner’s race for the prime spots.

Show n Shine runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. is the poker walk — followed by trophy presentation 3:30 p.m.

A poker run on the North Shore beginning at 4:30 p.m., and ending at Mountain Lakes at 6 p.m., concludes the day’s events.

Kootenay Blues Society is hosting Lloyd Jones at Finley’s Saturday night to provide the evening’s entertainment.

“Many participants have commented that it is the best show in western Canada because of the welcome they receive from the directors and the people from Nelson,” said Piro, adding organizers have added 12 $100 draws along with more than 200 prizes for participants.

“The ladies enjoy the shopping experience because of the unique stores on Baker.  They mention that having it downtown provides them with something to do rather than sitting in a park all day.”

The Queen City cruise attracts entrants from from throughout BC, Washington State, Idaho and Alberta.

Just like the past 16, no detail has been left undone.

Which is why the Queen City Cruise continues to be one of the hallmark events for Nelson, the second weekend of September for the past 16 years.