PHOTO: City workers hang the signs for Fort Payne's monthly classic car show. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)
By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
FORT PAYNE, Ala. — As March turns to April, the weather begins to warm, and communities begin to have their outdoor events. One event in Fort Payne has become a tradition over the last seven years, and brings people to the city from all over the area.
In 2010, Fort Payne residents Terry Locklear and Amelia Landstreet envisioned a new event in Downtown Fort Payne. According to Landstreet, they had attended other downtown car shows, and decided that Fort Payne needed such an event.
“We call it a cruise-in because we don’t charge for cars to display, so we get a lot. We usually have as many as 250 or more cars showcased,” said Landstreet.
Now in it’s seventh year, The Third Saturday Downtown Cruise-In will begin on Saturday, April 15, and will take place each third Saturday until October. Each “Cruise-In” will begin at 5 pm and end at 9 pm. As Landstreet explained, they’ll be more than just classic cars.
“We’ll also have a different musical act each week for entertainment. We’ve got acts lined up such as Mark Herndon, Canyonland Vocal Band, Steel Pickens, and the Jacob Stiefel Band,” explained Landstreet.
According to Landstreet, April’s musical act will be the Gadsden State Showband. Not only will the event feature music, but will also have a kid’s playground set up in the park, as well as plenty of food vendors to choose from.
“To name a few, we’ll have food from Old Timer’s and Smokin’ Butts, as well as snowcones, popcorn, and other treats. We’ll have different vendor’s each week,” she said.
Landstreet said that some Saturdays, the event draws up to 5000, and they are expecting for this year to be just as successful. She explained that the only thing that might affect the attendance is the possibility of rain.
“A rainy day can cause some of the cars to stay home,” she said.
When asked about the positive impact the Cruise-In has on the town, Landstreet said, “That many people coming into town and spending money helps the economy, and we look forward to having another great year!”