Saints set Aug. 13 for annual Car Cruz

Originally created in the 1950s to keep the drag racing and cruising off Port Orchard’s downtown streets, the Saints Car Club is once again bringing thousands of visitors and locals to the area for its annual Car Cruz.

The 35th iteration of the event is set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 13, featuring classic cars, street rods, custom cars, trucks, motorcycles and more.

The Cruz each year brings up to 600 vehicles from California, British Columbia, Oregon and across Washington state, charter member Roger Jensen said.

Up to 12,000 people attend the show — the largest single-day event in the region, he added.

“I think the draw is that waterfront, with that naval shipyard across the waterway [and the] greenery, the access to businesses downtown,” Jensen said. “We try to have something for everybody.”

Formed six decades ago by the police chief to halt drag racing downtown, the club works to support a number of local charities through its activities—from Salmon for Soldiers, local food bank efforts, backpacks for students and the Saints High School Automotive Scholarship Fund.

The Car Cruz started in 1987, with the Saints taking over organizing it in 1997.

Jensen recalls signing up before he even had a car — or a driver’s license.

Even in its earliest years, Jensen said club members had a heart for giving back to their neighbors — hence the “Saints” moniker.

“I guess it was stuff we did in the community that name came about,” he said.

The club stayed active for a number of years but was inactive for a time during the Vietnam War years, and restarted in the 1980s.

Show judges will hand out more than 60 awards for various categories.

What’s a little different about this show, Jensen said, is that Saints Car Club members may show some of their vehicles but do not take part in the judged competitions.

“We don’t judge our own cars; we don’t believe in that,” he said.

Jensen said he has some community leaders lined up as VIP presenters to hand out awards.

The show also features a pedal car raffle, door prize drawing for registered exhibitors, a 50/50 raffle drawing, feature car exhibit, food and plenty of vendors. Sponsored by Kitsap Bank, the Car Cruz sees registration set for 7 a.m.-noon, and $20 per entry.

Attendees are asked to bring canned goods to benefit South Kitsap Helpline.

The show will have plenty of first responder vehicles and staff on site, Jensen said, including local police and fire departments, State Patrol, a SWAT team and more.

“We really get a lot of support; [the show] takes a lot of work,” Jensen said.

The club’s 60 (or so) members are keen to provide scholarships for at least one student to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

“They’ll be the one who will help do what we need later on,” Jensen said.

Fortunately for the club, Jensen said, it has a good rapport with Port Orchard leaders, businesses and other groups.

“If we had to pay for every single thing, we couldn’t put this on,” he said. “So far we’ve been able to get that done. We have a lot of legacy sponsors who donate to us. I think the reason they do that is we return everything to the community.”

The Saint Car Club’s members range in ages between 20 and 80, Jensen said.

“It’s a real mixture of guys, not just good old boys,” he said. Their members spend time helping out at nursing homes, veterans homes and trade schools, in addition to the money they raise for local groups.

Come Aug. 14, those club members will be busy setting up on Bay Street for their 35th show.

“We hope to bring a lot of people to Port Orchard,” Jensen said.

For details on the Car Cruz, go to or email

Visitors to the show enjoy looking at the clean engines in the vehicles. This 1966 Shelby was one of hundreds of classic cars on display at the 2022 Saints Car Club Car Cruz.
Attendees of the Saints Car Club Car Cruz in 2022 get an up-close look at a 1981 DeLorean.
Some of the vehicles in the show take on a patriotic theme.