Cruise In returns Saturday

By Dean Palmer - Special to the News

The Hot Nights and Hot Cars cruise-in series will be returning to downtown Pilot Mountain on Saturday for the Independence Day weekend and will be inviting some familiar friends.

With cruise-in favorites The Fantastic Shakers taking the stage, the bandstand area is expected to be full. The award-winning beach music band, hailing from Lincolnton, has been performing for 38 years. Over that period, the group has garnered a pair of “Show Group of the Year” awards and three albums of the year while lead singer Bo Schronce has been named male vocalist of the year on four occasions.

Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs for comfort as they relax or join in the dancing as the band provides a lively set of classics from over the years.

In a new addition, a local band will take the stage during the afternoon hours. This month will feature the Americana sounds of The Surry Line Band.

Other features will include a display from the Petty Museum and one classic vehicle will be featured as the July Advance Auto Parts Classic Ride of the Month.

Also returning will be the popular 50/50 cash prize drawing as well as a diamond dinner ring, courtesy of Gilley’s Jewelry of Pilot Mountain.

While official hours for the cruise-in are from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the event’s popularity generally causes the downtown streets to fill early as car owners claim prime parking spaces.

Owners of antique, classic, street rod, pro-street and muscle cars will be to cruise Main Street or park in one of the several designated lots. Lots are divided, with primary Main and off-Main locations designated for “classics” while secondary lots and side streets fill with spectators.

To ease parking congestion for spectators, a courtesy park and ride shuttle bus service will again be offered with stops at specified downtown locations every 20-25 minutes from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. A bus 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.

By Dean Palmer

Special to the News

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