Muscle cars, antique cars, motorcycles and more will roll into downtown Mount Airy Saturday when the first in a series of cruise-in events is held there.
Cruise-ins have become popular attractions around the country, and sponsors of the Mayberry Cool Cars and Rods Cruise-Ins seek to shift into a higher gear by offering more than hot rods with sparkling paint jobs. The emphasis also is on entertainment, with Saturday’s event downtown — which is free and open to the public — to have a 1950s theme.
Even if they don’t have a classic car to enter or a favorite to admire, everyone is invited not only to come but wear their finest Fifties attire to the first cruise-in of the season. It is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m., with vehicles to be on display along North Main Street.
That street won’t be closed, but will be reduced to one lane of travel at 4 p.m., when the cars will be angle-parked. Organizers hope along all three blocks to have unique vehicles, which are to include 12 Corvettes coming from Staunton, Virginia.
Attendees will be treated to what organizers call “some great music from the ’50s,” with DJs from radio station WSYD providing entertainment as they have in the past.
Carlos Jones Blue Ridge Park, the downtown gazebo located at the corner of North Main and West Oak streets, will host dancing and provide a place to gather, where contest registration also will occur.
In addition to an award for “Best Dressed” at the Mayberry Cool Cars and Rods Cruise-In, an award intended for those whose attire best fits in with the theme, plaques will be given each month for “Cool Ride of the Month” and “Ladies Choice.” Additionally this year, an award for the vehicle that best highlights monthly themes will be presented.
An award ceremony is to take place shortly before 8 p.m. Door prizes will be given away throughout the event for cruise-in participants, and a 50/50 raffle also will take place which is open to the general public.
“Recall good times”
The Mount Airy cruise-in series draws participants from all over North Carolina and also Virginia, providing a free activity for both locals and visitors to the area, organizers stress.
It is fueled by a variety of factors in the view of Jennie Lowry, an official of the Downtown Business Association which spearheads the monthly events held from June through October. The city cruise-ins date to the early 2000s, when launched by the Surry Arts Council.
“I think most folks are looking to recall good times they may have experienced in their childhood,” Lowry explained Wednesday. It is hard to ignore that a major part of that nostalgia element is the vehicles from earlier eras.
“We would also like to invite owners of classic motorcycles and choppers to display their bikes as part of the cruise-ins this year,” Lowry added.
The Mayberry Cool Cars and Rods Cruise-Ins will take place each third Saturday from June to September, with October’s event to be held on Oct. 22.
Future themes include beach, the 1960s and the 1970s, and October’s cruise-in will have a Halloween theme.
Organizers say the cruise-ins offer a great reason to head downtown, enjoy music and finely restored classic cars and visit businesses there, many of which will be open late during the cruise-in season.
Also Saturday, a “Voice of the Blue Ridge” concert is scheduled at the Historic Earle Theatre and Old-Time Music Heritage Hall in downtown Mount Airy at 7:30 p.m., to feature Travis Frye and Blue Mountain and Americana artist Philip Gerard.
The cruise-in series is sponsored by Scenic Ford, Scenic Collision Center, Mount Airy Collision Center, LSL Auto Sales, 13 Bones, Bryan Marion Motorsports, Jeff’s Paint and Body Shop and Mount Airy Visitors Center.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.