Cruisers back in action starting next month

Published 12:13 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Chilton County Cruisers will resume their monthly cruise-in events on March 13, as they rev up their 2010 calendar.

Former president and club member Kenny Wilson said anyone who wants to participate in the event in Clanton can do so for free by driving their show car to the designated area that Saturday.

The automobile enthusiasts event, which highlights upkeep of brand-new and antique cars, will take place at its usual location at Sith Street and Second Avenue, lasting from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Wilson said it gives Chilton County residents an enjoyable opportunity that won’t nag too deeply into their pockets.

“It’s something to do without spending a lot of money,” he said. “Enthusiasts love to show off their work. They like to be around other people who like to share the same passion or enthusiasm for the automobiles.”

Wilson said auto aficionados typically dig seeing other people’s hard mechanical or body work they’ve put into their precious cars. The cruise-ins serve as strong social engagements for folks who have unique common interests.

He also said the events usually get strong foot traffic from area people whose interest is piqued by the machines on display.

“People just come to see the cars,” he said. “You can make new friends. It’s just an open social public event, and everyone appears to have a good time.”

Tim Shoemaker will take over Wilson’s former role as president, as Ricky Easterling will serve as vice president and Wendell Kelly as secretary/treasurer.

Those who attend could see anything from a brand new Chevy Camaro or Dodge Challenger to an antique Model-T. There are no restrictions on what kind of cars are shown. Wilson said most enthusiasts tend to show off classics and muscle cars from just about every year, though most commonly you’ll see 1960s and 1970s muscle cars, such as GTOs, Camaros and Oldsmobile 442s.

At the standard cruise-in, people bring cars, line them up down the streets with the hoods opened to expose the motors and show them off to each other and passers-by.

Wilson said the event usually features live music, though when none can be provided, they will hire a disc jockey. The event is free to attend, and it won’t cost anything to participate.

Chilton County Cruisers memberships cost $25 and offer more events and frequent newsletters.

The organization has yet to set a date for its annual fall fest, but Wilson said it will not compete with football.

“That’s a no-win situation,” he said.

He said the new officers are currently setting the season’s rules and dates for the festival and future cruise-ins. The monthly events occur on the second Saturday of each month.

Throughout the years, the Cruisers have donated whatever proceeds they make to local charities, including the Chilton County Humane Society, American Red Cross, Arthritis Foundation, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Toys for Tots and Operation Santa Claus. This year’s cause is yet to be determined.

They also raise money by selling concessions and 50/50 tickets at all of their events. The raffle tickets are sold at the end of the event and drawn to give the winner 50 percent, and the club gets the remaining 50 percent of whatever money is earned.

The cruise-in events will run through September.