Arts & Entertainment

Cool Desert Nights festivities June 24-26

OK, car hounds. The drooling begins next weekend in Richland when one of the Northwest's coolest-ever car shows opens.

Cool Desert Nights, celebrating its 17th anniversary, is June 24-26. Last year, more than 700 cars were registered and about 15,000 people attended the three-day affair.

Organizers are expecting to beat those numbers this year, especially with all the other fun happening along with ogling the cars.

There will be street dances Friday and Saturday nights. The June 25 dance starts at 9 p.m. and features Dance Maxx, a party band that plays '70s, '80s and '90s music.

On June 26, Petty Fever, a Tom Petty tribute band, plays at the dance starting at 8 p.m. Both street dances are open to all ages and are held in the Uptown Shopping Center parking lot off George Washington Way. Admission is $10 nightly.

The ultimate thrill, however, is gawking at the cars. To kick things off, an all-city cruise starts from TRAC in Pasco on June 24. The cars line up at 5 p.m. and head out at 5:30, following a designated route to the Richland Dairy Queen, where there will be a show 'n' shine from 7 to 9 p.m. Jadwin Avenue will be closed between Williams and Symons avenues during the show.

June 25 events include a Desert Wind Winery Show 'n' Shine at the Uptown Shopping Center with another cruise from 7 to 9 p.m. through Richland ending up back at the Uptown. The street dance follows. George Washington Way will be closed from 6 to 9 p.m. between Williams and Symons.

June 26 festivities start early with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis Club from 7 to 11 a.m. at Jefferson Park gazebo across the street from Uptown. Breakfast costs $5.50.

The show 'n' shine is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with music, vendors, food concessions and other family fun happening throughout the day.

Slow drags start at noon on George Washington Way, with the Richland Fire Department overseeing the event.

A poker run is from noon to 3 p.m. in the Uptown center. The awards ceremony is at 3:30 and the street dance starts at 8.

HAPO Community Credit Union is the sole title sponsor for 2010. Lori Mattson, president and CEO of Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce praised HAPO for recognizing "the positive impact Cool Desert Nights has on this community and has been instrumental in helping the event grow. We are very grateful ...."

A full schedule of events is at

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;