The final MainStreet Cruise-In of the 2011 season will be held Saturday from 3 to 9 p.m. in the heart of the city.
Since Cleveland is heading into the holiday season, the final meet will take on a Christmas theme.
The season finale features gospel music as it has in years past, but with expanded entertainment. For the first time, the Cruise-In will feature seven groups performing on the Bradley Courthouse Plaza event stage.
Beginning at 3:15 p.m. following the opening performance by the Mountain Laurel Dance Studio under the direction of Heidi Longwith, the Ocoee Music Players joined by the Etowah Town Band will offer a mix of vocal and instrumental music setting the stage for the succeeding performances. They will be followed by the Sound of Tennessee who will bring their tight harmonies to the stage with their a cappella performances of many well-known hymns. The Ocoee Music Players, Etowah Town Band and Sound of Tennessee have all performed previously at the Cruise-In.
At 5 p.m., The Seekers will take to the event stage as the first of four gospel groups for the evening’s program. Kathy Smith of The Seekers coordinated the gospel portion of the program and The Seekers provided and setup the sound equipment for all of the performances.
Following The Seekers will be the Trinity Trio, the Bowers Family and new to the stage this year is the bluegrass gospel group Heartstrings. While Heartstrings may be new to the program, two of its members are regular visitors to the Cruise-In albeit in an official capacity with the Cleveland Police Department Public Service Unit. Jackie Parris and Jerry Lance will be among the Heartstrings group which will take to the stage this week.
Two community service programs will be featured at the Cruise-In with the Marine Corps Reserve accepting toys and donations for Toys For Tots at the Cruise-In entrance and “Teen Challenge” on the plaza. Last year, the Toys For Tots program collected four large collection boxes of toys and over $1,600 in cash donations.
Teen Challenge, headquartered in Chattanooga, provides an effective and comprehensive faith-based solution to drug and alcohol addiction as well as other life-controlling problems. The program teaches teens how to live a life to the point where they can function as contributing citizens in society by applying morally motivated principles to their lives, relationships in the family, the local church, their chosen vocation and the community.
Pro Coat Powder & Ceramic Coating is again sponsoring the DJ Music on the Move and Easy Auto returns to sponsor the model car contest.
“The Cruise-In has a big economic impact on our community,” said Sharon Marr, MainStreet Cleveland executive director.
“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. We congratulate the MainStreet Cruisers for 10 years of success with this event.”
She added, “Thank you to the Cruisers’ 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.”
The Cruise-In is a free family event for both participants and spectators. Attendees can stroll the downtown streets and visit local shops and restaurants. Food vendors add to the atmosphere with barbecue, kettle corn, fried apple pies and more.
For general information, call the MainStreet office at 479-1000, or visit the website at www.mainstreetcleveland.com.