Philosophers and clergy have long talked about the human need to be a part of something bigger than oneself. It’s doubtful they had it in mind, but perhaps the Power Cruise fits the bill.
Running with the pack is one of the large appeals of the annual Somernites Cruise event. Usually held in July, the oppressive summer sun inspired Cruise organizers to pull a schedule switcheroo and move the Power Cruise — which features cars rolling into Somerset from six different directions — to September this weekend.
“A lot of ... older cars respond better to cooler temperatures,” said Mark Hansford, Somernites Cruse Vice President. “When you don’t have air conditioning, it’s a big difference between 75 degrees (outside) and 95 degrees.”
Cars will be coming into Somerset Saturday at the same time from the cities of Cincinnati, Louisville, Bowling Green (Ky.), Nashville, Pikeville and Chattanooga.
Most locations will offer Friday night events for car owners, according to the Cruise Team; Somernites representatives will also be on hand at those events to answer questions about the Power Cruise. Car owners will then gather at pre-determined rally points on Saturday morning for a brief organizational meeting before hitting the road for the main event.
“The Power Cruise allows car owners to get out and drive their vehicle (with) a group mentality,” said Hansford. “They just enjoy being in the car, and being with people who have similar interests. It’s just being a part of something bigger. If you’re coming in from Cincinnati, you know there’s five other legs coming in at the same time as part of a bigger event.”
Speaking of “big,” that’s a good way to describe the Speed Channel’s “My Classic Car.” Host Dennis Gage — known for his handlebar mustache — will be coming to Somerset for this weekend’s Somernites Cruise to film a segment for the hit TV show, watched by a million viewers every week.
“(Gage) is an icon in the classic car world; that show is available to 80 million households,” said Hansford. “His main claim to fame is that he’s real tight with (NBC talk show host) Jay Leno. It’s the most popular classic car-related show.”
The Saturday morning “Fun Run” —beginning at 9 a.m. at Hardee’s South on U.S. 27 after a free 8 a.m. breakfast — will go to Danny’s Rod Shop. On Friday, as usual, the Early Bird Meet and Greet will be held at Danny’s Rod Shop on North U.S. 27 at noon, and the Wal-Mart Rock & Roll Block Party will be in downtown Somerset at 6 p.m. Those arriving on Thursday can head to Dairy Queen at stoplight no. 6 on the highway for the Tune-Up Cruise-In.
As for other September Cruise features, every show car or truck that enters the event will receive one free chance on a drawing for the “Ultimate Door Prize”, a T-Bucket Hot Rod.
Participants and spectators can improve their chances of winning by purchasing official Somernites merchandise. For every $5 spent, one additional ticket on the T-Bucket will be given. The drawing will be held on Town Square at 6:30 p.m., and you must be present to win. Citizens National Bank is the exclusive sponsor of the Ultimate Door Prize for September.
At the September and October Cruises both, donations of gently-used coats for youth, ages preschool to junior high, will be taken for the “Coats for Kids” program. Gloves and hats are also requested. The items can be dropped off at the DJ trailer on the Fountain Square, or taken to Key Cleaners in the Tradewinds Shopping Center on U.S. 27 (let them to know the items are for “Coats for Kids”).
Finally, just to get in the fall spirit, those on the square will be treated to a unique sight: a downtown pumpkin patch. Hansford noted that with the TV show coming in to showcase Somerset, officials hoped to hide the boards covering up the fountain on the town square, which is currently under renovation plans and not functional. As such, the county government, Somernites Cruise Team, and Downtown Somerset Development Corporation chipped in to have local business the Mum and Pumpkin Patch build tribute to the autumnal vegetable right in the middle of the festivities to help beautify the surroundings.