It’s getting to be that time of the year again… In February of 2004, a local forum member of vwvortex.com started a thread after exchanging a few phone calls with City of Port Townsend officials and organized a very small cruise for enthusiast members of the Pacific Northwest Volkswagen community. Starting in the Seattle area, the drive took a small handful of VW owners south along I-5 on the Eastern side of the Puget Sound, then West on Hwy 16 from Tacoma before heading back North on the scenic, Western side of the Puget Sound and finally ending in Port Townsend, WA. After a lunch break in town, the group hopped back in their cars and ran over to nearby Fort Worden for a group picture before wrapping up the day and cruising home. Sadly, we weren’t able to attend this cruise. Fast forward to the beginning of 2006, and one of the cruise participants had expressed interest in another cruise. The details are a bit hazy but somehow the task to organize the 2006 event fell in our lap and we’ve ended up organizing an annual cruise to Port Townsend since! The 2006 event had close to 50 cars in attendance, all hailing from the Seattle area and we’ve seen the numbers grow to just over 800 last year with participants coming from Oregon, Idaho, and even Canada!! At first, reserved parking along one of the side streets a block off of Port Townsend’s main thoroughfare was enough to accommodate cruise participants. Obviously that would no longer be the case with so many cars taking over the city. We were put in touch with Jefferson County Parks and with the support and backing of Achtuning, arrangements were made to have cruise participants converge within Memorial Field, an athletic recreation facility that is nestled within the heart of downtown. By the 2010 event, it was decided that we would ask participants to bring donations to benefit NW Harvest in exchange for parking passes that would gain them access to Memorial Field. We’re proud to say everyone’s efforts have resulted in over 3000 lbs. of donations to date! Memorial field is an ideal location for checking out the cars and venturing out to explore the city, which by the way is adorned with Victorian architecture and an array of shops to keep you busy for a few hours. The location really could not have worked out any better and we hope it will remain the final destination of the annual Port Townsend Cruise for years to come.
We’re honesty very proud to see how far this event has grown over the years, opening the doors to opportunities like article and media publications in Eurotuner, the contacts we’ve made in Port Townsend who have hosted us, and the many new friends we make each year. Plans for the 2012 event are already under way and we hope for yet another epic turn-out this year. If you find yourself in the area on March 31st with a European car to drive, you should definitely come out!! Details of the cruise will be coming soon. Click here to visit the official Port Townsend Cruise Facebook page and stay tuned!