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Central Illinois car enthusiasts show off their vehicles in Levee District

The aptly named Central Illinois Automotive Enthusiasts group has built a large audience for themselves as hundreds turned out to the Levee District in East Peoria Friday night to see more than 300 classic or tricked out cars.

“There have been some Model A’s, Model T’s and different types of vehicles that are pretty old,” the event’s host, Christopher Hruby, said. “There are some really old roadster type vehicles, rat-rods or whatever you want to call them. That’s basically something that’s rusted out, slammed to the ground with a high performance motor in it.”

They host events on the first Saturday and third Friday of every month. The Friday events are known as Friday Night Lights and start at 7 p.m.

The Saturday events are geared towards the early-bird, starting at 8 a.m. and feature coffee. They call it Cars and Coffee.

“[Friday Night Lights] generally turns out 300-plus cars, but our cars and coffee event turns out on average 550 cars and has had upward of 700-plus cars participate,” Hruby said.

He says the event started five years ago when they realized family-friendly events were becoming harder to find and car shows were getting more award-heavy. So, for their events, they block off streets to ensure safety and stage them at the Levee district, which is near food options for families. They also don’t hand out awards.

The cars mostly come from Central Illinois, but some drive them down from the Quad Cities, Springfield, Quincy and beyond.

You can learn more by joining their Facebook group.

Bobby Oler @bobbyoler

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