Willow Glen Christmas Cruise – Bright Lights, Holiday Spirit and Cool Cars
The Willow Glen Christmas Cruise takes everything we like about the holidays and amps it up tenfold. Hundreds of colorful hot rods, carolers, cruisers and bitchin’ bright lights make it a favorite event for Northern California car guys and gals. Nothing gets hot rodders in the spirit of Christmas like a festive holiday cruise. And the quaint suburb of Willow Glen (a district in San Jose, CA) is the perfect backdrop for this awesome annual tradition.
Spiking the spirit even more is the toy drive with the gifts going to grateful children, many of whom are from low-income families. When we saw the toys stacking up, it made us swallow hard. Seeing car guys come together for a community celebration gets us every time.
Started by local realtor and Goombah’s Car Club member Mike Gaines over a decade ago, the Christmas Cruise snakes through a 10-mile route traveling through brilliantly lit homes and businesses. The neighborhood kids run out of their decorated holiday homes to see the colorful cars cruise by, smiling and waving with magic in their eyes.
Just after sundown, the cruisers gather to stage up at the local CVS Pharmacy. From there, they head out staying as close together as possible to idle along in a single file line stretching a good half-mile. We were lucky enough to be cruising in the Goodguys 1961 Ford Sunliner which appropriately is red with a white canvas lid. We got lots of cheers by the revelers walking the neighborhood, especially from the little ones.
Our evening of festive fun ended at the corner of Cherry Ave and Robsheal Drive – Dave and Muriel Pusateri’s home in Willow Glen which for the past 14 years has served as the Make A Wish Foundation house. The Pusateri’s have raised thousands for the organization over the years and they dress up in Santa and Mrs Clause outfits welcoming kids of all ages to share their wish list. It’s a perfect place to round out this Holiday Happenin’.
Thanks to everyone who makes this annual event so much fun. Santa and his Reindeer are sure to make a return visit in the wee hours of December 25th!
Willow Glen Christmas Cruise Photo Extra