For more than the 62 years of the Toys for Tots program, Marines have distributed more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million needy children.
“This charitable endeavor has made U.S. Marines the unchallenged leader in looking after less-fortunate children at Christmas,” according to the program’s website.
The collection point will be at the intersection of Ocoee and 1st streets beginning at 1 p.m.
Vehicles entering the Cruise-In at the collection point and contributing to Toys for Tots will receive a token of appreciation courtesy of MainStreet Cleveland.
The “Merry Cruisemas” Cruise-In is the final event of the season and will kick off the program at 3 p.m. with a performance by Mountain Laurel Studios under the artistic direction of Hedi Longwith.
Mountain Laurel Studios is making its first appearance at the event.
The October event has in past years featured performances by local gospel groups that have become the traditional closing for the Cruise-In season. This season an expanded program will begin at 3:15 p.m. with a performance by the Ocoee Music Players under the direction of Robbie Cody who will bring well-known hymns to the stage in an instrumental format.
The Sound of Tennessee, led by musical director Chad Guyton, will follow the Ocoee Music Players at 4:15 p.m. The 30-member Sound of Tennessee is a men’s barbershop chorus that was recently awarded the Silver Medal in competition with 19 other choruses by the Dixie District of the Barbershop Harmony Society held in Greenville, S.C.
At 5 p.m. local gospel favorites The Seekers will lead off the program with traditional music followed by the Trinity Trio and the Bowers Family. All three groups are local favorites who have performed numerous times at past Cruise-Ins.
The MainStreet Cruisers are sponsoring the music portion of the Cruise-In.
Between the music sets “Music On The Move” deejay Mark Howard will play songs by recording favorites Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Alan Jackson and more. Pro Coat Powder Coating of Cleveland is sponsoring Music On The Move.
Easy Auto will again be sponsoring the model car contest. Both young and old are again encouraged to enter their creative automotive works and show off their skills. The top three models will be awarded a prize for their efforts.
“The Cruise-In has a big economic impact on our community. It is amazing how many out of state cars travel to Cleveland for this event. These visitors are spending money in our hotels, restaurants, and shops. Thank you to the MainStreet Cruisers and the volunteers who invest many hours to make this event so successful from the blocking of streets and directing traffic to trash clean-up the following morning,” said Sharon Marr, MainStreet Cleveland executive director.
The Cruise-In is a free family event for both participants and spectators. Enjoy strolling the downtown streets and visiting local shops and restaurants. Food vendors add to the atmosphere with barbecue, kettle corn, fried apple pies, and more.