The Reeves Restoration Project sponsored the event as a fundraiser by selling $5 decals for residents and visitors to cruise the streets of Elkin. Cicely McCullough asked for a variance from the town board of commissioners on the no cruising ordinance, which was approved unanimously.
McCullough, chair of the Reeves, kept her downtown business, Diana's Bookstore open throughout the event for cruisers to purchase smoothies, hot chocolate, soda and coffee. Suzzane Puckett, owner of Royall's Soda Shoppe, kept her business open and set up a booth on the street offering hot-dogs and drinks for the cruisers. Twenty-One & Main, as well as Brushy Mountain Winery were also open for the event.
McCullough, Robin Turner of the Reeves project, Teresa Howell, Main Street Manager, Jane Spencer, Foothills Art Council director and Martha Smith, Elkin's librarian all stood in front of the Reeves Theater selling the decals to allow the cruising. Anyone wishing to cruise had to purchase and display the decal on their vehicle.
"Cruising isn't about being teenagers anymore," Matthew Spring of Lexington said. "A friend told me about the cruising in Elkin tonight, and my wife and I had to come. As teens, we lived in Iredell County, and at least two weekends a month, we'd drive to Elkin to cruise. Now days, if we can, we go to Mount Airy or Pilot Mountain to cruise and meet up with people for the camaraderie. I think more small towns should allow cruising, especially with the economy the way it is. Small business owners can benefit from staying open and profiting when people come into town. Everybody wants a drink or a sandwich, and the wives love to get out of the car and shop the small quaint stores looking for gifts and things. I hope Elkin does this more often, it's a great place to come cruising. I didn't mind paying the $5 since it's benefiting the theater, but if the town did it more often, they should plan an alternative way to raise money for the theater. The $5 would be a little steep to come every time."
The theme throughout the evening seemed to be the same from many of the participants who were cruising.
"I know that tonight's cruising is about a fundraiser for the Reeves Theater, and everybody had to buy a $5 decal to be able to cruise, but that was okay to start with," Larry Johnson of Wilkes said. "My wife pays attention to the things going on around the area and she's excited that the Reeves is being restored and will hopefully offer second run movies and simulcast shows from New York. She says we need more art and exposure to plays and musicals in the area. But, I'm all for the cruising. It's mostly people of my generation, 40 and 50-year-olds who want to come out and cruise now. We have nicer cars and we can meet up with people we know and have a night of nostalgia."
Many residents and visitors to downtown Elkin brought lounge chairs and sat along the sidewalk watching the array of cars and trucks, whistling at the vehicles as they drove by and sharing memories of days gone by with others who sat along with them. Others congregated on the street corners, standing, talking, and having an all around good time. Many people spoken to as they cruised the downtown streets all gave the opinion that Elkin really should bring cruising back to town, at least for one weekend a month.
"We go to Mount Airy, Pilot Mountain, Yadkinville, and Lenoir on designated weekends to cruise," said Robert Colbert of Elkin. "Some of the cruising towns do a 50/50 draw, where you purchase a ticket for a dollar, and toward the end of the evening, they draw a ticket and the winner gets half the pot of the take. A few weeks ago, the winner in Pilot Mountain won over $1,400. That means the sponsors of the cruise-in kept $1,400 too. That would be a great amount for things such as the Reeves and other town projects."
"I think if you had a few more food vendors and street-side vendors for coffee and hot chocolate as it gets colder, and you could advertise a little more, at least a thousand would show up to cruise in Elkin," Mike Pennington from Wilkes said. "I love to bring the family out and cruise, and just sit and enjoy the conversation with others who came out to enjoy the night. I learned about this one in Elkin from a friend, but I'm sure it there was a night, such as the fourth Saturday of every month, many more people would come to downtown Elkin.
Nobody is out for trouble anymore, just pure, clean fun. I think the Reeves people need to do this more often, but a 50/50 ticket would probably make them more money than purchasing decals to cruise."
Others, who were cruisers in their day, brought their children out to experience the event. Ted Shore, who was driving on his 15-year-old permit was experiencing his first 'cruise' with his mother Angie in the front seat alongside him.
"I met my husband here in Elkin cruising," Angie Shore said. "That was back when cruising in Elkin was allowed. It's a great first experience for Ted."
All throughout the night, cruisers stopped alongside each other recognizing old friends and comrades from their cruising days.
The Reeves profited from the event as well as the Elkin residents and visitors to the area who had an all-around fun evening.