Cruise-in to be part of beach music weekend
by Dean Palmer Staff Writer
PILOT MOUNTAIN — With its fifth and next-to-last event of the season scheduled for Saturday, organizers of downtown Pilot Mountain’s “Hot Nights and Hot Cars” cruise-in series are looking to build on a successful format by expanding the lure for beach music lovers.
According to Doug Brannon, chairman of cruise-in series sponsor Mount Pilot Now, organizers will coordinate Saturday’s Depot Street appearance by the award-winning Craig Woolard Band with a pair beach music concerts at Mount Airy’s Blackmon Amphitheatre, giving beach music fan a full extended weekend of legendary classics and current favorites.
A Thursday evening event will feature The Embers followed on Friday night by The Fantastic Shakers in concert. Both events are a part of the Blackmon Amphitheatre Summer Music Series and are scheduled to begin at 7:30 each evening. Tickets for the Mount Airy events are $10 or admission with a season pass. There is no charge for Saturday evening’s Pilot Mountain concert with music expected to begin around 5:30 p.m.
Dubbed “Beach and The Blue Ridge Foothills,” the trio of concerts is being promoted on area radio and other venues through the Surry Arts Council and the Tourism Partnership of Surry County.
“We’re teaming up with Mount Airy,” Brannon explained, “to sponsor a week-long event for fans of beach music. We’re looking forward to this bringing a lot of beach music fans to our area, something that will benefit both communities.”
Brannon also noted the availability of the town’s visitor center, located in Town Hall, during the event. Displays provide a history of Pilot Mountain and the surrounding community. The facility also will offer public restrooms.
Other featured activities will include the return of the Bridgestone/Firestone “Bigfoot” monster truck sponsored by Mock-Beroth Tire. The Richard Petty Museum will be on hand with one or more of Petty’s classic race cars.
Monthly activities will include a 50/50 drawing, with First Citizens Bank employees on hand to assist with ticket sales. Gilley’s Jewelers will provide a dinner ring as a drawing prize while other prizes will include a night’s stay at a lodging facility in the Pilot Mountain area.
Also featured will be the Advance Automotive classic car of the month, with the owner to receive a plaque and an assortment of cleaning accessories.
And at the heart of the event, owners of antique, classic, street rod, pro-street and muscle cars are invited to bring their vehicles downtown to either cruise or park in designated display areas.
While official hours for the cruise-in are from 3:30 to 9:30 p.m., the event’s popularity generally causes the downtown streets to fill early as car owners claim prime parking spaces. By midday, the town is usually beginning to fill with classic vehicles and a festive atmosphere.
To ease parking congestion for spectators, a courtesy “park and ride” trolley service will again be offered with stops at specified downtown locations every 20 to 25 minutes from 3:30 to 10 p.m. The “Good Time Charlie” trolley car will be carrying attendees from the two Key Street PART park-and-ride lots to the downtown area and returning them to their cars. The #1 lot is located behind RBC Centura Bank while the #2 lot is beside Surrey Bank & Trust.
“With good weather,” Brannon said, “we’re expecting another good turnout and a great evening for everyone.”
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