PILOT MOUNTAIN — This year’s Hot Nights and Hot Cars cruise-in series will draw to a close here this weekend with a pair of shows that organizers are referring to as a grand finale.
The festivity will begin on Friday evening as the sponsoring Mount Pilot Now group hosts its fourth-annual event Race Car Friday Night on Main.
The closed-street show is scheduled to take place the day before the last cruise-in of the summer season. Main Street parking will be reserved exclusively for race cars which will be on display throughout the evening.
The show will follow East Surry High School’s downtown Homecoming Parade, scheduled for 4 p.m. Race car trailers will not be allowed to park near the high school due to the East Surry-Bishop McGuinness football game.
Several downtown and area parking lots will be made available for trailers from which participating race cars can be unloaded. Organizers are asking that transport vehicles and trailers arrive by 4:30 p.m. in order to allow ample time for the unloading of cars.
Shuttle service from Key Street parking lots will not be available on Friday night.
Beginning at 5:30, participating race cars may be parked along Main Street where spectators will have the opportunity to look over the vehicles and talk to owners and drivers.
The show is open to all types of cars from dirt, drag and stadium racing, including drag cars, open-wheel modifieds, old and new stadium modifieds, street legal, pro street, road course, pro-mod and gassers.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest,” Mount Pilot Now representative Jerry Venable noted. “We’re hoping to break the 100-race-cars barrier this time. We’ve had interest from as far away as Wilmington, and it should be a fun night.”
“This brings a whole new group of people into the town. It should be good for the town, and we hope and believe it will help area racing,” he said.
Main Street will be reopened on Saturday for the final cruise-in of the year.
Owners of antique, classic, street rod, pro-street and muscle cars will again be invited to bring their vehicles downtown to either park or cruise. Special lots will be designated for classic vehicle parking.
A courtesy shuttle service will again be in operation starting at 3 p.m. offering periodic downtown stops. The service will carry attendees from the two Key Street PART park-and-ride lots to the downtown area and later return them to their cars.
Among the list of returning features will be the Advance Automotive classic ride of the month, featuring a favorite vehicle selected in advance.
Other featured activities will include a 50/50 drawing, with ticket holders also entered into a drawing for a diamond ring, courtesy of Gilley’s Jewelers.
The event will follow its now familiar format featuring live beach music to be provided on the Depot Street stage by the Carolina Breakers. The band was voted the Carolina Beach Music Awards favorite new artist of 2011 and over the past four years has amassed 10 #1 hits.
“We’re expecting some beautiful weather and a lot of people this weekend,” Venable said. “We wanted to close out the summer with a really big show on Saturday, and I think we’ll see the town fill up early.”
“We’ve had a couple of cooler, rainy Saturdays,” he continued, “but it has been a great summer overall. We couldn’t have asked for any better. We appreciate the support of all our sponsors, as well as those who came out for the shows, some from quite a distance away. It’s been a good year.”