City records another successful Cruisin'

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10,000 to 12,000 walked downtown Saturday

By Marty Finley

Despite a muggy heat that forced a few people to seek medical treatment, Elizabethtown’s annual downtown car cruise drew a massive crowd and plenty of vehicles to admire this past weekend

Elizabethtown Events Coor­dinator Sarah Vaughn said this weekend marked a record year for Cruisin’ the Heartland, drawing 1,700 to 1,800 cruise cars — a number that matched the city’s projections.

By organizers’ calculations, the cruise also drew 10,000 to 12,000 people, she said.

“That’s what our expectations were,” she said.

Vaughn said the numbers are only early estimations. More concrete numbers will be available next week.

When asked what drew the most response, Vaughn said an appearance by Dennis Gage, host of television show “My Classic Car,” gained a lot of attention as Gage walked the streets of downtown, highlighting classic cars for a show that specializes in the pursuit of classic automobiles.

Reality television show star Rich Evans, of truTV’s “Motor City Masters,” also made an appearance that drew its share of attention, Vaughn said.

“Those were nice additions this year,” she said.

Cruisin’, in its fifth year, had about 40 paid vendors in its ranks, and Vaughn said the city experimented with relocating some of the vendors to improve the overall experience, using some space supplied by WQXE radio that was well received. Vaughn also thanked The Cecilian Bank for opening its space downtown for some of the festivities.

The timing of Satur­day’s car cruise was fortunate as the event wrapped up mere hours before a rash of bruising thunderstorms and tornado alerts moved into Hardin County.

“The heat was bad, but it wasn’t raining,” Vaughn said.

Police Chief Tracy Schiller said three or four people and a dog were treated by Hardin County EMS for heat-related ailments, including heat exhaustion and vomiting. However, no serious medical concerns were reported.

The diverse crop of classic cars drew thousands of enthusiasts, and the sale of alcohol had police officers on alert to ensure those drinking were staying within the confines of the approved consumption boundary that moved around downtown from North Miles Street to Central Avenue and back.

Schiller said police remained vigilant and everyone behaved while partaking.

“We had no major issues,” he said.

Schiller commended the ordered nature of the event, and he said the two bands that performed, The Headstones and Caribou, proved popular and showed skill in working a crowd.

Mayor Edna Berger said all reports she has fielded have been nothing but positive as the city recorded another successful event despite the weather.

Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.