PILOT MOUNTAIN — The sponsoring Mount Pilot Now group might explain the current philosophy for its summertime “Hot Nights and Hot Cars” cruise-in series with a familiar saying — “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
The group will return with its fourth event of the season this Saturday and the format will be a familiar one.
“We want to continue what has become a great event,” Mount Pilot Now Chairman Doug Brannon explained. “We’ve had some really good turn-outs this year. Our July event had some scorching hot temperatures but our attendance was a good as it’s been all year. The Fantastic Shakers helped with that and our special guest, Bobby Brantley of Lizard Lick Towing, was a big help.”
This month, the Richard Petty Museum will be returning with one of Petty’s classic racing cars. Also featured will be the Advance Automotive classic car of the month, with the owner to receive a plaque and an assortment of cleaning accessories.
And, as always, owners of antique, classic, street rod, Pro Street and muscle cars will be invited to bring their vehicles downtown to either park or cruise. While official hours for the cruise-in are from 3:30 to 9:30 p.m., the event’s popularity generally causes the downtown streets to fill early as car owners claim prime parking spaces. By midday, the town is usually beginning to fill with classic vehicles and a festive atmosphere.
The courtesy “park and ride” trolley service will again be offered with stops at specified locations every 20 to 25 minutes from 3:30 to 10 p.m. Trolley cars will be carrying attendees from the two Key Street PART park-and-ride lots to the downtown area and returning them to their cars. The #1 lot is located behind RBC Centura Bank, while the #2 lot is beside Surrey Bank & Trust.
Other features will include a 50/50 drawing, with funds raised to provide top quality future bands. Gilley’s Jewelers also will provide a cocktail ring as a drawing prize while other prizes will include a night’s stay at one of three local bed and breakfast inns or cabins.
Another lively performance is expected from the August featured artists, The Hip Pocket Band. The 2009 Carolina Beach Music Awards (CBMA) winner as favorite new artist, the band has already become a popular local draw based on past Pilot Mountain performances. Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs for comfort as the band provides a lively set of classics from across the generations. And a portion of Depot Street or “Gasoline Alley” will again be turned into a dance floor for the evening.
“This is a high-energy band that has been with us before,” Brannon said. “We’re looking for them to bring out a good crowd.
“We’re expecting another good turn-out,” he continued, “and we hope this month will be a little cooler. We’re still seeing new faces each month, people who have heard about what we’re doing and who want to be a part of it. People enjoy the cars, the food, the entertainment and the atmosphere.”