Barrington tweaks Cruise Night in effort to become Thursday night hot spot
Barrington hopes to attract downtown visitors looking to get an early jump on the weekend on Thursdays with tweaks to its longtime Cruise Night and the addition of other fun activities.
To complement Cruise Night this season, the weekly farmers market will be on Thursdays starting at 3 p.m. June 14. That same day will debut Flesk Brewing Co.'s Flesk Fest beer garden with bands and games at the Ice House Mall and Village Shops, beginning at 4 p.m. and running on the second Thursday through September.
In addition, the third Thursday of the month will feature a free outdoor concert at Memorial Park on Hough Street at 6:30 p.m., including patriotic and other music. The series will begin with the Barrington Community Band.
Patty Dowd Schmitz, the village's director of communications, marketing and events, said the downtown initiative built around Cruise Night also will have restaurant specials and later hours for stores.
"We're just really trying to make the downtown very lively on Thursdays in Barrington," she said.
Barrington's second Cruise Night of the year will be 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in a parking lot at Cook and Station streets. Some village board members this year voiced concern about anecdotal evidence that suggested Cruise Night attendance declined in 2017, which led to the changes to the 15-year-old c event and the new offerings.
One change is a weekly car and attire theme. This Thursday will be Corvette night with Hawaiian clothes for participants and patrons.
Inverness resident Carl Colletti, who's been part of Barrington's Cruise Night since it began, said he plans to be among the Corvette owners this week. He'll drive a silver-blue 1964 Corvette to the show and has been trying to get other owners of the classic car to join him.
"It's just a nice area," said Colletti, who participates in car evenings in other suburbs. "It's just a nice venue."
Another Cruise Night tweak this year is a family fun zone with face-painting, a balloon artist, child-friendly games, inflatables and tricycle races. Other additions include a weekly performance, such as music or dance, at 7 p.m. and food trucks on many evenings.
Barrington's Cruise Night mostly has mostly paid for itself through sponsorships, according to the village. Lake Zurich, Crystal Lake, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows and South Barrington are a few of the other suburbs with summer car gatherings.