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ISSUE: Cruisin' with city government
OUR VIEW: A successful transition
If the third annual Cruisin’ the Heartland was a preview of how Elizabethtown and new Events Coordinator Sarah Vaughn handle an event of this size, then we are in good hands.
Vaughn and her team of volunteers did a good job orchestrating the event and even ordered up some perfect weather.
Cruisin’ the Heartland isn’t just a car show. It is an opportunity to show off the community and extend hospitality and appreciation for the patronage of out-of-town guests. If that were the sole measurement of the events success then Elizabethtown would get an A-plus again this year.
As with every event there is room for improvement but it would be a mistake to focus only on what needs to be fixed and fail to shine a spotlight on what the city did well after assuming the event from the chamber of commerce.
With more than 1,200 cars in the show this year and thousands of people downtown taking in the sights, there were no significant incidents during the show. The consistent theme heard from attendees was “what a great job they (the city) have done organizing this show.”
If it has wheels, chances are it could be seen last Saturday in Elizabethtown. Everything from Model As to motorcycles to ’55 Chevy ragtops were shining bright on the streets of Elizabethtown.
Just as enjoyable were the variety of people that were taking in the sights as you could see literally every generation walking side by side with smiles on their faces and sharing their stories.
Cruisin’ the Heartland is so much more than a car show, it truly is an opportunity for the young and the old to come together and share their automotive experiences. No matter whether you are a muscle car enthusiast or sports car nut, you can find it at Cruisin’ the Heartland.
One thing you couldn’t find was a short line at food vendors. Even though there was food available, there simply were not enough vendors to handle the crowd. With less than half the number of food vendors this year as opposed to last year, hungry show goers were forced to be patient as waits ranged from 30 to 45 minutes.
Sarah Vaughn recognized there was an issue and has vowed to improve the food vendor lineup in 2013. We have no doubts that next year’s Cruisin’ the Heartland will offer both variety and quantity in cuisine.
All in all, 2012 Cruisin’ the Heartland was a success for Elizabethtown and for the new events department headed up by Sarah Vaughn. The transition from the chamber to the city was smooth and without roadblocks.
Thank you to all of the volunteers, the vendors, the participants and to Vaughn for making this year’s event a success and we look forward to Cruisn’ the Heartland 2013.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise's editorial board.