Since the inception of Somernites Cruise, Somerset has been a magnet for classic and custom vehicles.

This weekend, a bird’s-eye view of Somerset will prove that the south-central Kentucky town actually looks like a magnet drawing cars to the area.

More than 1,500 vehicles will be rolling into Pulaski County simultaneously Saturday for the second annual Power Cruise — bringing caravans from Bowling Green, Manchester, Nashville, Knoxville, Louisville, and Cincinnati.

Somernites Cruise is a free classic and custom vehicle show and cruise held on the fourth weekend of every month, rain or shine, in downtown Somerset between April and October.

Both seasoned and novice car owners can relax and enjoy local food and oldies tunes as they stroll among the colorful rows of vehicles which pack the streets and parking lots.

Even those who don’t have cars of their own enjoy coming to downtown Somerset for a walk down memory lane.

Here’s this weekend’s schedule of events:

Friday, July 27

Locals and out-of-towners are invited to roll into Somerset early for a “meet and greet” session at the Somerset-Pulaski Convention and Visitors Bureau from noon to 2 p.m.

At 6 p.m., cruisers can head to the Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot for the Wal-Mart Block Party. Wal-Mart has planned the biggest party yet. For more information, visit: www.walmartblockparty.com.

Featured at the block party will be several popular vehicles, including the Heroes Truck, the Pepsi Smash Truck, and two pro-mod race cars from Redline Racing and Restoration.

“We were very lucky to have the Heroes Truck here before, and it is only because of the hospitality the owners received on their first visit to Somerset that we were able to get it here again,” said management team member Joel Zimmer.

“I am sure many people remember (the) Pepsi Truck cruising the strip with its neon glowing, speakers thumping, and videos flashing across the truck’s many screens,” Zimmer continued. The Pepsi Smash Truck can be seen at the Convention and Visitors Bureau’s event Friday afternoon, at the Block Party Friday night, and at Saturday’s events.

“They will be happy to challenge anyone who thinks they have a better sound system,” Zimmer said.

Redline Racing and Restoration is owned by former candidate for Kentucky Governor Billy Harper, who enjoys driving pro-mod race cars.

“This weekend we are lucky enough to have Mr. Harper and his two pro-mod race cars on display,” Zimmer said.

Wal-Mart manager Allen Adcock says the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will be at the Block Party offering “A Taste of Kentucky.”

“We’ll have farmers and producers all along the front of our building,” Adcock said.

The event will promote the Kentucky Proud Program, which was designed to help tobacco farmers discover alternate crops.

“We want to help educate the public about Kentucky Proud, and let them know how they can participate,” Adcock said.

Somernites’ own Somernites Salsa is a product of Kentucky Proud.

The evening will also feature music by Fogery Run at 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 28

Cruisers who want to rise and shine early Saturday can join in on the Saturday Morning Fun Run. This month, Fun Run participants will be traveling to Cumberland Falls in Corbin, Ky. Breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. at Office Depot. The group will depart for Cumberland Falls promptly at 9:30 a.m.

By late morning, Somerset will be gearing up for the arrival of the Power Cruise caravans.

A group from Bowling Green, led by the Power Cruise’s corporate sponsor, Holley Performance Parts, is expected to roll into town on the Cumberland Parkway around 11 a.m. Next, a group from Knoxville should arrive around 11:30 a.m. The third, and largest, group will be coming from Cincinnati and Louisville around 11:45 a.m., and a group from Nashville is expected to arrive around 12:15 p.m.

The final destination for all Power Cruise participants will be The Center for Rural Development, located between U.S. 27 and Monticello Street.

“The Somernites Cruise Team has tried to minimize the impact this massive influx of cars will have on the Saturday morning traffic flow around town,” says Zimmer. “We met with city officials to discuss the best way to handle the incoming Power Cruise participants. It was decided to avoid traveling down (U.S.) 27 when the groups arrive in town in an effort to have the least impact on the normal traffic flows of our community.”

Power Cruise participants will be directed to the 914 Bypass. They will then travel to Ky. 1247 through Ferguson to Murphy Avenue. From Murphy, they will turn onto Monticello Street to get to The Center.

“If someone wants to see a solid line of classic cars that stretches for miles, then they need to be at the 914 Bypass this Saturday morning to see the parade roll by them. I guarantee it will be a sight to see,” Zimmer said.

The weekend’s main event, the “Show and Shine” portion of Somernites, begins downtown at 2 p.m.

This month’s anticipated influx of show cars has drawn attention from media nationwide. ESPN2’s “Mothers Car Show Series” will be filming two of their episodes on Saturday. V8TV will also be on site. Four national magazines will also be covering the event.

“This weekend is truly a chance for Somerset to shine,” Zimmer said.

Raffle tickets will be available for $5 each. Ticket holders will have a chance to win either a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro or a Gatormade trailer, both of which will be given away at the end of the Somernites season.

Cruisers are also encouraged to purchase a Somernites Power Card, which offers new discounts monthly at local participating restaurants, hotels, and other establishments. Cards cost $10, and they can be purchased online by visiting: www.somernitescruise.com.

At 8 p.m., the fun continues with “Cruisin’ the Strip.” Vehicle owners can parade through downtown and onto U.S. 27 to cruise to their hearts’ content. Spectators can pull up a chair along the cruise route and watch the cars go by all night long.

There’s more to see and do at the Don Marshall After Cruise. Cruisers are invited to pull on into the Don Marshall Chrysler Center’s lot for fun and entertainment after the cruise traffic dies down.

Sunday, July 29

Before heading home, cruisers can fuel up their stomachs at Oak Hill Baptist Church, which has revived its Sunday morning breakfast for Cruise participants. Breakfast is served at 8:30 a.m. The Heroes Truck will be visiting Oak Hill Baptist Church for its special Heroes Sunday Service. For more information, call (606) 679-8496.

Learn more about Somernites Cruise and its related events by visiting its Web site at: www.somernitescruise.com.

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