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Charley Manker, with the Crossville Cruisers, discusses the benefits of the monthly events held downtown.

Cruise-ins will return to Main St. for another year.

The Crossville City Council approved closing a portion of Main St. for the Saturday events held noon to 4 p.m. the fourth Saturday of the month from April through October.

“People come from Chattanooga, Knoxville, northern Georgia,” Charley Manker with the Crossville Cruisers told the council Jan. 14. “Where it is is important to people and that we do it regularly on a monthly basis through the year.

“They like to look at cars. They want to talk cars. The more cars, the better.”

Bob Ross said many club members attend a similar event in Jasper, TN.

“It’s a little town. Main St. is closed. We like going down there to see the other cars from the other areas,” Ross said. “They’ve got an ice cream store across the street. We like restaurants, and we just support the town.

“That’s my goal when I go — to support what’s downtown in the little towns we go to.”

The group has agreed to cancel its September event due to a conflict with the air show at Crossville Memorial Airport, a city event that requires resources from the police and other departments. 

Mayor James Mayberry questioned how many car shows utilize a town’s Main St., adding he had attended car shows around the region.

“They’ve always been in parks,” he said.

Club members said Rockwood, Harriman, Sparta and Somerset, KY, all used their downtown areas.

“It’s worked effectively here,” Manker said. “We’re concerned that if we go off of that track, a lot of the folks that attend will not show up.”

He said the club moved the show while the city replaced waterlines in the downtown area in 2016.

“We went from 200 to 250 cars down to about 80,” Manker said. “A lot of people just didn’t come.”

Mayberry noted the city plans to proceed with replacement of sidewalks this spring, which could impact the car shows. 

There had been discussion of possibly moving the car show from Main St. to the side streets around downtown. Mayberry said Thurman Ave. behind the courthouse offered only 50 parking spaces, and the vintage autos would likely require more than one standard parking space for display.

Manker said the Cruisers had hosted up to 160 cars, depending on the weather.

“I don’t think you can shrink it that much,” Mayberry said.

City Manager Greg Wood said the city staff had recommended the same closures used last year, which closes Main St. from Fifth St. to First St. Fourth St. would be closed from Main St. to Thurman Ave.

Wood said that helps provide traffic routes around the closures and maintains access to businesses open on Saturday afternoons. 

“If we want to extend the closures, we want to go towards Lantana,” Wood said. 

Manker said some of the side streets off Main St. could be closed to accommodate more vehicles, should the need arise. Wood said the city can give the street department permission to move the barriers on side streets.

“That’s the only reason we might need more space,” Manker said. 

The council approved the club’s request, with Councilman J.H. Graham III adding the closure could move toward Lantana Rd. if necessary to accommodate larger attendance. 

The council also approved a change to street closures for Friday at the Crossroads.

The Aug. 7 event is scheduled for the same weekend as the annual 127 Corridor Sale, which follows Hwy. 127. Organizers agreed to move the starting time for the event to 5 p.m., instead of 4 p.m. The Dash in the Dark, organized by the Young Professionals Alliance, follows Friday at the Crossroads, and streets would reopen after the race concludes. 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The Plateau Women’s Chorus is sponsoring a parade April 4 to celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage. 

The council approved road closures for the event.

The parade will begin and end at Veterans Park, with the parade circling the Cumberland County Courthouse. The group hopes 10 to 20 community groups participate in the event that will include a ceremony, speeches and music. 

Schools and community organizations are encouraged to participate. Dana Beal, the executive director for the organization, may be reached at plateauwomenschorus@gmail.com.

 

 

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

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