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Cruz'n Association's Rod Run returns to Havre tonight


Last updated 6/7/2019 at 11:29am

The Hi-Line Cruz’n Association will be hosting its 33rd Annual Rod Run at the Great Northern Fairgrounds this weekend, with registration starting today and activities and events going until Sunday morning.

“My favorite part, I think, is just getting to see the different cars from other people, what they have done to them. It can be anything from a total restoration originally to something that is so highly modified that you’re wondering what it is and everything in between,” Hi-Line Cruz’n Association Vice President Craig Otterstrom said. “The craftsmanship and the workmanship that they put into it is sometimes just phenomenal.”

Hi-Line Cruz’n Association is a non-profit group which raises money to donate to organizations and programs such as the Hill County 4-H Club, Havre Food Bank, Custom Collision Repair’s Vehicle Give-Away Program and sponsoring families through the Salvation Army at Christmas, as well as providing scholarships to Montana students who are majoring in the automotive field.

The money raised in the Rod Run goes toward putting on the event the following year and to the community, he said.

Otterstrom said that registration for the Rod Run opens today from 5 to 9 p.m., costing $50 per couple, $50 per single and $65 per family. He added that many people have already preregistered for the event, a number of people using the event as a long weekend trip.

Registration resumes Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by Show ’N Shine from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Events, food and drinks will go through Saturday, including the annual annual poker run that afternoon and a pitch-fork fondue and dance Saturday night.

Doughnuts, coffee and juice will be served Sunday in a goodbye to the attendees.

The Rod Run also has a different theme every year, Otterstrom said, with this year’s theme being “The Dirty’ 30s.” Last year’s theme was “Karz Across the Border,” which was aimed at honoring the Canadians who attend the event yearly.

He said that the event averages about 100 registrations every year, with people coming from all over the state and Canada. He added that this year, because of the weather, some of the usual last-minute attendees may not be able to attend, but the Rod Run is set to happen rain or shine. A number of people have been attending the Rod Run event in Havre since it began in the ’80s.

“You don’t have to have a show piece to come up,” he added.

He said that one of the first years he registered a car he was still working on. It was a ’68 Ford Falcon and it was only primed and had the original motor still in it. He said he registered the vehicle because he wanted people to see what it was like when they start remodeling or rebuilding a car.

“You start somewhere and you build it,” he said.

The association starts planning for the event in fall, meeting throughout the winter, only taking a break in the Christmas season, reconvening after New Year, Otterstrom said. He said that the theme is the hardest part to come up with. Because the event has been going for so many years it is hard to find new themes.

Saturday night during dinner, awards and a performance by local band “Blind Luck,” he said, several members probably will be dressed up in 1930s attire to go with “The Dirty ’30s” theme.

The association will give out a number of awards which were hand-made by Chuck Salerno, who makes the trophies out of a variety of materials, including recycled automotive parts.

“They’re cute and they’re unique,” Otterstrom said.

He said that the association is open to everyone and they encourage new members every year. The hard part is getting the younger generation involved, he said. Many youths are not as interested in cars as before.

“However, we don’t mind if they would come, in fact we would enjoy it if we had some younger blood,” he said.

He said that a number of people in town have special cars, but the community never sees them because people don’t want to take them out.

“I’m sure the public would be fascinated with some of the cars,” Otterstrom said.


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