Every Saturday from 5-9 p.m., from April through October, proud owners display their cars on Elk Avenue for the weekly Carter County Car Club’s Cruise-ins.
But one Saturday is different. That is the Saturday when the car club holds its annual rally in the downtown area.
For 2016, that special Saturday is today, marking the 34th Annual Show and Cruise-in. The show starts at 9 p.m., and club member Ron McCloud said between 200 and 300 cars should be registered for the show.
He said the number is not definite because some of the owners wait until the last minute to register for the show. He said such factors as weather impact the number of cars that will be at the show. Since preregistration is $15 and registering the car on the day of the event is only $20, the last minute registration is understandable.
What kind of cars will be entered into the show today? They range from antique cars, vintage stockers, modified classics and modern performance cars. McCloud said the only qualification is that the owner is so proud of his car that he or she wants to show it off. The cars are not just from the Tri-Cities area, but from South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina.
One thing that McCloud said is different this year is that every entry entitles the registrant one chance in a drawing for a Chevrolet 350-cubic-inch engine. Additional chances in the drawing can be purchased for $5 each.
McCloud said all the proceeds from the drawing will go to support the children’s charities the car club sponsors. Those charities change from time to time, but have included the Salvation Army Christmas Angel Tree program, the Friends Program, the Carter County Imagination Library, the Carter County School System’s accelerated reader program, the Children’s Evangelism Fellowship and the Elizabethton/Carter County Boys and Girls Club.
In addition to the drawing for the engine, McCloud said there will be door prizes, including a giveaway of a transmission. Entrants will also receive a goody bag.
Although the new public restrooms the club is helping to build won’t be ready for the car show, McCloud expects the facility to be ready before the season is over.