Five years in, Somernites Cruise keeps on truckin’.
This weekend, Somerset’s classic and custom car show rolls back into town, and brings with it the Fifth-Annual Somernites Cruise Truckin’ Nationals showcase.
Presented by Auto Kustoms, the Truckin’ Nationals features all sorts of classic and custom trucks along with sport utility vehicles. The theme has proven a popular one with Cruisegoers, and Somernites Executive Director Keith Floyd is expecting a big crowd.
“Trucks are hot,” he said. “They have been the last several years, not just in the real world, but with classic car enthusiasts.
“I guess that’s because everybody had them growing up,” he added. “That carries over to the Blazers and Broncos, things like that. Sport utility vehicles.”
Someone will end up walking away with a pretty hot truck of their own. At 6:30 p.m., Cruise organizers will be raffling off a 1985 Chevrolet C10 pick-up.
“We’ve been selling tickets (for the raffle) since last year,” said Floyd. “Somebody is going to be very excited.”
Tickets are $10 and will be available Friday and Saturday, at the Friday Night Thunder Block Party at the Somerset Mall and on the Fountain Square at the downtown show. One does not have to be present to win. Even though the Cruise goes from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday this year, starting and ending an hour earlier than in the past, the raffle will still be held at 6:30 p.m. since that’s how it was advertised last year.
“So the show will be 30 minutes longer than usual,” said Floyd.
All the more time to enjoy this month’s special guest. Patrick Glenn Nichols has a YouTube channel, “Musclecar Barn Finds” and he’ll be at the show meeting and greeting fans and signing autographs.
“He was scheduled to come a couple of different times, and it rained out every time,” said Floyd. “This time, he’s coming.”
Mecum Auctions will be set up downtown talking to people who may be interested in consigning their vehicle for auction in Chattanooga in October, said Floyd.
“That’s one of the leaders in the auction world,” he said noting that they sold the “Bullitt” film car that appeared at Somernites Cruise for over $3.7 million last year. “They were here (with the “Bullitt” car) and were so impressed that they wanted to come back.”
Floyd said there will be “a few other special displays around the square” and a special limited edition Truckin’ Nationals t-shirt design for the occasion.
Regular features include the Friday Morning Meet & Greet at Circle K, located at stoplight no. 10 on U.S. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., which includes a free lunch for Truckin’ owners, and Friday Night Thunder from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., held by the Don Franklin Family of Dealerships Somerset and regular host Somerset Mall, featuring food, live entertainment, activities for kids, lots of classic cars and more.
Saturday morning begins with a free breakfast at 8 a.m. at the South Hardee’s location (stoplight no. 22) before leaving on the Fun Run to Haney’s Appledale Farm, out West Ky. 80.
Floyd noted that with some new COVID-19 virus concerns currently existing, the Cruise is still taking precautions, with extra cleaning of facilities and hand sanitizer provided throughout the Cruise event area.
The focus, however, will be on fun — and so far, 2021 has had plenty of it for Somernites Cruise fans.
“We’re happy with where we’re going this year,” said Floyd. “Crowds have been good. We’re getting into the meat of the schedule here in July, August, September. We’re excited about the rest of the year. We’re just hoping and praying COVID doesn’t raise it’s ugly head again.”