Another year, another Cruise. It’s an April tradition here in Pulaski County. The first Somernites Cruise of the season always rolls into town around this same time every year.
“It’s year 13 and we’re still around,” said Mark Hansford, Somernites Cruise team member. Noting the event’s place as a downtown Somerset fixture, he quipped, “The old square has been leveled and another is on it’s way, and we’ll still be there on Saturday. I guess that says something about our staying power.”
Indeed, amid years of transformation for the town’s landscape, the Cruise has remained constant, pulling in scores of thousands of visitors each season. People who shop at local businesses, learn about the area, and — most importantly, of course — look at all kinds of cool cars.
Of course, the more things stay the same, they more they change ... and the true is same of Somernites this month.
“This weekend, we’re doing a couple of things we’ve never done before,” said Hansford. First on the list is a poker run, a game in which participants travel to different locations to “draw cards” and see who ends up with the best poker hand at the end of it.
“Fun Run” events are a normal Cruise activity, where drivers head out on a trek to some appealing part of the region to start things off Saturday. This time, however, those participating will gather at the Hardees South location at 9 a.m., get their name on a sheet, then head out on U.S. 27, visiting Cruise sponsor businesses and drawing cards.
At the end, they’ll head back to the Somerset Mall, where the “poker hands” will be record. Winners will be announced at the “Show and Shine” downtown. The best hand wins $250; second best. $150; and third, $100. There is no cost to enter the poker run, and gifts from local merchants will also be a part of the festivities.