PASO ROBLES — A couple of hundred people gathered on either side of Spring Street on the west edge of the Downtown City Park to watch the Paso Robles Heritage and Tradition Cruise on Saturday, Oct. 10.
Between 100 and 200, mostly cars and trucks decorated with American flags and thin blue line flags and some with Trump 2020 banners drove on the circular route that took them up and down Spring Street and around the Downtown City Park starting at 10 a.m.
People smiled and waved to the cruisers until it ended at about 11:30 a.m. Most of the people watching the cruise were not wearing a face covering but some were social distancing.
It was difficult to tell just how many vehicles were involved in the cruise because the route was not blocked off as is typically done for parades.
Some hot rods, antique tractors, fire engines, a couple of semis, one considered oversized carrying a bulldozer on its trailer, and a couple of horse riders participated in the cruise. Music was played through a sound system.
The Heritage Tradition Cruise was organized by Protect Paso and Cali Auto Fest to give people a way to celebrate on what is usually Pioneer Day in Paso Robles.
Pioneer Day, like nearly all large events in the state, was canceled this year because sizable organized gatherings are not permitted under current COVID-19 guidelines. The annual Pioneer Day parade draws thousands of people to Paso Robles.
The cruise was not associated with or sanctioned by the Paso Robles Pioneer Day Committee.
Car cruises have become a thing during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are considered to be of the same class of activities as someone standing on a soapbox sharing their views on the day’s issues. Although organized, they do not require city permits or county approval.