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Engines will be revving this Friday and Saturday as hundreds of classic cars and thousands of enthusiasts descend on downtown Elizabethtown for the ninth annual Cruisin’ the Heartland.

Classic automobiles will line downtown streets as car lovers learn their unique stories and enjoy festivities the event has to offer.

City Events Coordinator Sarah Vaughn said organizers are expecting around 2,500 cars this year. She said the event began with about 1,000 vehicles and grows every year and typically anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 visitors attend.

As Cruisin’ the Heartland continues to grow, so does its list of activities. New this year is the children’s scavenger hunt.

Vaughn said children can pick up a card at the Elizabethtown Police Department and Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association booth in front of city hall the day of event. Once each item is found and the card is signed the child is qualified to receive a Kona Ice and free gift, she said.

Vaughn also said a local band has been added to this year’s lineup. Limestone Creek will play on the main stage after Sail On, a tribute to the Beach Boys, which starts at 4 p.m. and concludes around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Elizabethtown Tourism & Convention Bureau Executive Director Sherry Murphy called Cruisin’ the Heartland “a wonderful event for Elizabethtown.”

“While supporting the booming downtown area, the event provides another option for entertainment for our local families as well as visitors,” she said.

“Cruisin’ the Heartland also shows the pride we have in our community and support for its growth,” she added. Visitors are attracted to vibrant communities and this year’s Cruisin’ will have plenty of energy.”

Cruisin’ the Heartland has been recognized as one of the top cruise-ins in the nation by Chevy Classics Magazine and the Best Car Show Cruise-in in the state by Kentucky Living magazine.

Vaughn said the downtown layout and “the beauty of our downtown” is a big draw to attendees. Another draw is “the fact that once a year, you come to a unique event in downtown E’town and see things you won’t see all year or possibly ever again,” she said.

A car cruise-in downtown Elizabethtown isat 5 p.m. Friday and gates open for the roadside displays at 9 a.m. Saturday.

To learn more about Cruisin’ the Heartland and for a schedule of events, go to cruisintheheartland.com.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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