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Usually, the Somernites Cruise "Mopar Mania" showcase is in May — but because of the effects that COVID-19 has had on the Cruise, it will be the featured attraction of this weekend's classic and custom car show in downtown Somerset.

"We've got a loaded weekend."

Usually, the fourth Saturday in September means the Power Cruise. Classic and custom cars come to town from multiple directions — Cincinnati, Louisville, Pikeville, Bowling Green, and Tennessee — to descend upon Somerset for Somernites Cruise.

This month, that large-scale event won't take place, one more result of COVID-19 concerns. But Somernites Cruise is more than making up for it with plenty of special featured attractions scheduled for downtown Somerset this weekend.

"Normally, this month is the Power Cruise, but with COVID-19, we thought it best to cancel that. We didn't want to send our people out to all the other states," said Keith Floyd, executive director of Somernites Cruise. "We thought it would be a good slot to put the Mopar (showcase) instead."

Indeed, usually "Mopar Mania" grips Somerset in the merry month of May, but that second show of the season was cancelled this year because of the coronavirus. Fans will still be able to get their fix of the Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth and GMC classics, just as they do every spring.

The "Mopar Mania" showcase is presented by Don Franklin Chrysler, Ram, Jeep.

"We're going to have some special Mopar displays," said Floyd. "We'll have a couple of super-nice custom Mopars."

That would be “The Incredible Hulk” a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda, and "Bee Resurrected," a 1970 Dodge Super Bee. Both cars are privately owned but will be brought to Saturday's show and featured; the "Hulk" car is even signed by actor Lou Ferrigno, who played the "Incredible Hulk" character on TV. 

While Ferrigno won't be appearing at the Cruise in person — as far as anyone knows, that is — a giant in the world of automobile television will be on hand. Stacey David will be joining the September Cruise as a special guest. David is known for hosting the TV show "GearZ," seen on MavTV and Velocity, and is known for his exceptional custom and repair projects. 

David has been to the Cruise before, back in 2017, and enjoyed his experience so much that he's made a return trip.

"He was a big hit, so we thought we'd bring him back," said Floyd. "... He loves our town. He couldn't wait to come back."

David will have a special display with him — the V8 Interceptor, a 1967 Mercury Cougar — and will be signing autographs and doing a meet-and-greet with fans.

But that's not all. Saturday's show will have the "Winged Warriors" display — cars with big wings, like the 1969 Dodge Daytona or 1970 Plymouth Superbird. "They were built to run in NASCAR, but they eventually outlawed (the cars) because they were so dominant," said Floyd. "They're pretty rare cars."

Keep an eye out for some other special displays at this month's Cruise, as well as the the Lake Cumberland Volkswagen Jamboree, held by the Central Kentucky VW Club. 

"They'll be doing their show within our show; they do this every year," said Floyd, nothing that it's the fourth year that the VW club's event has joined up with Somernites. "We're excited to have those guys."

The "Circle the Wagons" display of vintage station wagons was scheduled for April and had to be cancelled, but will take place this month instead. Close to 20 vintage station wagons will be out for examination by nostalgic fans.

"People just remember riding in them as kids," said Floyd. "The sport utility vehicle kind of made them outdated, but now they're as hot as they can be."

And if you like your nostalgia to take a little bit bigger shape, the fourth-annual "Campin' the Cumberland" vintage camper rally is going on at Pulaski County Park. Some will be on display at the show Saturday, but there's an open house scheduled at the park off of West Ky. 80 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday to tour the vintage campers. Floyd said he's been told every spot is booked, with about 50 of the recreational vehicles that are decorated in all sorts of fun, colorful ways.

The Saturday morning Fun Run is to the London Dragway. Either come in and watch or take your car out on the track and race for $10. Meet at the South Hardee's at stoplight no. 22 8 A.M. Saturday for a free breakfast, and depart in a group for London at 9 a.m. 

One Cruise weekend favorite that's returning this month is the Friday Night Thunder Block Party. Held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the Somerset Mall, presented by the Don Franklin Somerset Family of Dealerships and the Somerset Mall, the Block Party features much of the fun of Somernites Cruise on the other end of town, with hot rods, a live DJ and trivia with Looney Tunez Entertainment, lots of great food, and the chance to win a $100 Shell gas gift card (register at the red tent).

Those attending the Friday Night Thunder Block Party Friday or Saturday's downtown showcase are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing. Floyd said that what the Cruise has been doing so far "has worked well," and that there hasn't been any outbreak of cases tied back to the classic and custom car show. All the show's hygiene guidelines relating to COVID-19 will be in place again. Now all that's left to hope for is good weather.

"It rained in July and August," he said. "We'd like to have a show where it didn't rain."

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