Cruisin' the Coast

Masked Cruiser: Birds of a feather block party together

SHANNON DAVIDSON/SPECIALTOTHESUNHERALDJeremy Hard and his son, Mac, of Biloxi look at the engine of a 1951 Chevy coupe owned by Jim and Brenda Thomas of Stockbridge, Ga., during the Biloxi Downtown Block Party on Wednesday.
SHANNON DAVIDSON/SPECIALTOTHESUNHERALDJeremy Hard and his son, Mac, of Biloxi look at the engine of a 1951 Chevy coupe owned by Jim and Brenda Thomas of Stockbridge, Ga., during the Biloxi Downtown Block Party on Wednesday.

Persistent patchy fog in the bayou areas mandated caution on the morning cruise to Wednesday's Biloxi Block Party.

Cruisers like to get there early to get prime parking spots close to friends and near shade. It's a great time to connect people with their cars, because the sun soon pushes people to any source of shade, and you can't tell who arrived in what.

Connecting with fellow Cruisers tops the list of things people like about Cruisin' The Coast.

Ask 10 Cruisers what brings them here year after year, and most will respond as Maryland resident Steve Keller did: "The people here are so nice." Keller continued with the second most-popular response, referring to the layout of the venues: "Each day, you have a variety of locations to go to. I've put 800 miles on my car each of the past two years, just here on the Coast."

Third on the list is the food -- so much a part of our everyday lives here, but so tantalizing to our visitors. The list goes on but what isn't said is that it is the culture of cruising cars, not just showing them, that brings visitors here the first time. They come to be part of the phenomenon of 10,000-plus cars cruising around, and they fall in love with the atmosphere and people of the Coast.

People like Shirley Gates of DeLisle, who started a conversation with, "I'm just walking around here talking to people; I've never met a stranger." Five minutes later, she got around to talking about her 1967 327 Camaro. It's not all about the cars for many people.

It's truly amazing to see this many people, from near and far, gathered together and sharing ideas, stories and good times that reflect such a common set of core values.

It seems the Cruisin' lifestyle attracts a style of people who appreciate each other, and what South Mississippi has to offer. Cruisers, you do yourselves proud.

And the wheels roll on . . .

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