Lake of the Ozarks, MO. - As the sun begins to set over the waters of the Lake of the Ozarks on Friday, May 13, the historic Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark will heat up with the sounds of revving engines and jukebox classics. One of the largest "cruise-ins" in Missouri, Hot Summer Nights, kicks off its annual summer series from 6-11 p.m. on Friday night.

Every year, beginning in mid-May and continuing through mid-September, "The Strip" becomes a hotbed of hot rods, classic cruisers, muscle cars, vintage trucks and motorcycles and even a handful of custom vehicles. Visitors to the Lake will have five opportunities on the second Friday of each month (May 13, June 10, July 8, August 12 and September 9) to take in these awesome autos and enjoy all the fun the Lake area has to offer during the Hot Summer Nights events, which take place rain or shine.

Over the last couple of years, Hot Summer Nights has been attracting thousands of visitors for each installment and has also been consecutively named the best annual event at the Lake of the Ozarks by Lake Lifestyles magazine.

"Hot Summer Nights has just exploded in popularity," says one of the event organizers, Robert Schwartz. "It's been amazing to watch it grow over the years. People really enjoy the sense of nostalgia as well as the classic Americana vibe along The Strip. And, I'm pretty sure it's the only 'cruise-in' event in the nation where you can come by land or by water. Many people drive in, but a lot arrive by boat and tie off at Beavers at the Dam Bar & Grill, which is right in the heart of the action. So, that just adds to it."

This free, family-friendly event features all makes and models of classic and custom vehicles, along with live entertainment, deejays, fun activities for kids, helicopter rides, giveaways and much more.

Schwartz says that many attendees plan their weekend to the Lake of the Ozarks around Hot Summer Nights. Visitors come to explore the different activities and attractions available at the Lake and then head to "The Strip" to have a good time and to see all the sights. "It's a fun street party and people make a full day of it. 
The fact that it's so family-oriented has really been key in its growth." Event attendees can check out all the classic and custom cars; children get to interact with a plethora of entertainers, including clowns, magicians, face painters and charcoal artists; in addition, kids can listen to stories of the high seas with Captain Scalawag while he makes his rounds in his mini-pirate ship.

The overall theme for 2016's Hot Summer Nights series is "Cruisin' to the Lake," but each monthly installment has it's own mini-theme. 

The theme for the May 13 event is "Route 66: Detour to the Lake," celebrating the 90th anniversary of this fabled highway, which first took root in 1926 in Springfield, Mo. Hot Summer Nights organizers have rallied multiple Route 66 associations from Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma, as well as other Missouri towns steeped in the history of the "Mother Road," to set up a Route 66 "village" along The Strip. Many representatives from these associations, communities and organizations will be on hand to tell tales of this storied thoroughfare and provide more information on Route 66 and Route 66 events. In addition, the famed Lennon Family trio from Branson will open the evening with a rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner."

On June 10, attendees are encouraged to put their tops down and cruise to the Lake to honor the classic "Rag Tops and T-Tops," so there should be no shortage of open-air carriages to check out.  The event on July 8 will focus on "Rats, Rods and Street Machines," where plenty of tricked out, street legal hot rods will be on full display. On August 12, "Since '66: 50 Years of Cruising the Strip" commemorates the history of the Bagnell Dam Strip as well as the Lake area; therefore, many vendors and businesses along "The Strip" will offer special 1960s prices on merchandise and more.

The final event of the season, which takes place September 9, is called "Vettes for Veterans" and will be a patriotic tribute to American veterans featuring the Lake of the Ozarks Corvette Club. This installment features a parade for local military veterans, a fly-over by the KC Flight Team, as well as a 21-gun salute. In 2015, more than 100 local military heroes joined the "Vettes for Veterans" parade and rode down the Bagnell Dam Strip in Corvettes as onlookers waived miniature American flags.

For more information and updates on Hot Summer Nights, visit the event's Facebook page at

For more family-friendly spring and summer events, attractions, as well as all dining and lodging options available at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the Nation, visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau website at, or call 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).

# # #

For additional media assistance on the Lake of the Ozarks, please contact The Beenders Walker Group at 573-636-8282, or email Marjorie Beenders, Jo Duncan or Kyle Stewart.
Lake Logo



Phone: 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253) Fax: 573-348-2293  

P.O. Box 1498  Osage Beach, MO 65065

Website:  Email: