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My father was back in the hospital this past week so for the first time since Memorial Day weekend, I didn't make it to any car shows.

I did, however, manage to break away for a few hours on Thursday evening to attend the Der Dutchman end of season banquet.

More than 200 people pre-registered for the banquet so there weren't very many empty chairs.

Wayne Nisly got the evening started by sharing some facts about this year's cruise-ins.

  • Wayne's database has accumulated the names of 1013 people who have registered a vehicle a least once during the past three years.
  • The total number of people to register in 2019 was 2341.
  • There were 341 first-timers this season.
  • There were four rainy evenings, but only two cancellations.
  • It was estimated that 84 lbs of bratwurst, 300 hot dogs, 600 hamburgers, and 115 gallons of ice cream were consumed during the season.
  • On June 29, the restaurant held its first-ever coffee and donut cruise-in.
  • Four times this year the cruise-in registered more than 200 vehicles.
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Over 200 people attended the annual Der Dutchman cruise-in banquet on Thursday evening.

The banquet is the restaurant's way to says thanks to everyone that participated in the cruise-in throughout the summer. It also gives everyone a chance to get together one more time before the cars are put away and the season officially comes to an end.

Wayne Nisly, cruise-in manager, was the master of ceremonies for the evening.

Everyone that brought a car to at least one cruise-in received a nice plaque from Wayne and the restaurant in appreciation for reaching the attendance goal of 200 cars.  That occurred on September 20th when the cruise-in registered 253 vehicles! It was quite an evening.

The evening came to close with the cruisers presenting Wayne, his wife, Luella, and Victor, assistant manager at the restaurant, gifts in appreciation for all the work they did to make each cruise-in a success.

The Der Dutchman cruise-in grew by leaps and bounds this year.  It will be a tall order to top that success going forward.  Wayne, always thinking big,  has set a goal of 300 cars for next year. There's also discussion of having one Saturday morning coffee and donuts cruise-in.   2019 is already shaping up to be another great season.  Can't wait....

The Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio held the end-of-the-season cruise-in banquet on Thursday. More than 134 people signed up for the festivities.

For a little historical perspective, this marked the sixth year the restaurant has held a weekly cruise-in from May through September.  The very first cruise-in occurred on May 24, 2012.  A total of seven cars showed up for that first cruise-in. Boy have things come a long way since then.

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

Here are some of the highlights from this season...

  • The cruise-in reached 100 automobiles (104 to be exact) for the very first time on June 29. The 100 mark would be reached again on August 24 and September 28.
  • Bad weather affected five cruise-ins including the first week
  • Host, Wayne Nisely, missed his one and only cruise-in on June 22 because of a health issue.
  • Wayne celebrated his 79th birthday on July 27, however, the celebration had to be postponed to the following week because of bad weather
  • This season had 183 first-timers.  There were first-timers every week except for two of the rain outs
  •  327 people participated in at least one cruise-in this season
  • My  four-year old grandson recorded his first ever cruise-in

Der Dutchman presented everyone that registered for the banquet a beautiful plaque commemorating the season.

Of course, there had to be group photo of Wayne and the gang before the evening ended.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say a heart-felt thanks goes out to Wayne, his wife, Luella, Victor, Drew, and the Der Dutchman management for making this season the best one yet.

Next year's cruise-ins will kick-off on May 24, 2018.  I've already got it marked on my calendar. Can't wait for another great season.