Cruisin' the Coast

The Masked Cruiser cruises the Coast on Saturday

Rose Martin, 3, plays with the door handle of a 1961 Chevrolet Belair during Cruisin' The Coast on Saturday, October 8, 2016, at the Edgewater Mall.
Rose Martin, 3, plays with the door handle of a 1961 Chevrolet Belair during Cruisin' The Coast on Saturday, October 8, 2016, at the Edgewater Mall. amccoy@sunherald.com

The Masked Cruiser fired up the Pinto for one more cruise around the Coast on Saturday, the day before Cruisin’ winds down and people pack up their hot rods and street rods and dragsters and classics and head back to homes across the U.S.

The Masked Cruiser went cruisin’ extra early Saturday and there was so much excitement along U.S. 90, you could feel it in the air.

People were setting up tents, grills and lawn chairs all along 90 in preparation for the day’s Cruisin’ activities, which, from the looks of it, will be based around watching the cars roll up and down 90.

I’m thinking about spraying a coat of primer on the Pinto and getting into the action myself. So if you see a Pinto rolling along Beach Boulevard, be sure and wave and I’ll blow the horn at you.

And folks, let me tell you, Edgewater Mall in Biloxi was hopping Saturday. And I don’t mean sock-hopping, but full-on packed out with people and cars and sunshine.

The Masked Cruiser met a couple from Baton Rouge who told me they had some damage to their home from the recent flooding, but they were more fortunate than a lot of people they know.

They said they have been coming to the Cruisin’ The Coast for about six years and they enjoy it so much they now plan their vacations around it.

I’ve heard that several times over the past week from many people. That’s got to make Renee Areng and the tourism people feel good about the event. At last count, there were about 8,000 registered cars in this year’s Cruisin’, which is a record year. Someone told me that it brings in about $3 million a day. Dang — that’s a lot of money.

I’ve also heard some locals complain the Cruisers come to town and bring a sack of bologna sandwiches and they don’t spend any money. I don’t really understand that logic, but then again, you could give some folks a million dollars and they would be mad because they wanted it in twenties.

The Masked Cruiser is going to miss Cruisin’ The Coast. I’ve met a lot a good folks and I’ve seen a lot of nice cars.

One more day and I will be putting the Pinto back up on blocks until next year.

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