Plans for 8th Super Cruise move ahead with meeting

Plans for the eighth annual Salem Super Cruise are moving ahead with a few changes after the first meeting for the 2013 event was held on Wednesday.

The Super Cruise will be held the weekend of June 20-23 and is in its fourth year under city management.

Service Safety Director Ken Kenst said there are no major changes other than dropping show car registration envisioned, and plans call for making the event as big as ever.

About a dozen people attended and Kenst said committees will be formed as things get going.

“There are a couple of things we’ll try and tweak into the weekend,” he said. “Our intent is to let everyone who comes to Salem have a good time.”

Kenst added, “Our intent is not to make money, but cover our expenses and the cruise has done this each year.”

He pointed out that last year’s event cost about $38,000 and that was “pretty much” covered by concession fees and sponsors.

Already $1,500 has been collected toward June’s Super Cruise.

“And we haven’t even started,” Kenst said adding they are working on letters to sponsors and asked that anyone with photos from previous cruises submit them to the cruise via city hall.

“We want everyone to be involved.”

He noted that every band that was involved last year wants to come back and Mick Orosz, who was on the concession committee, said there is a waiting list for vendors who want to work the Super Cruise.

“I always have people asking about it,” he said and gauged this year’s interest as comparable to 2012.

Last year, vendors were placed on East Second Street and Kenst said that won’t be the case this year, but the parking will be available.

One of last year’s disappointments was that vendors didn’t do as well as expected on E. Second St.

Orosz said, “We didn’t really have the draw.”

Conversely, without the vendors, Kenst said they would have “two additional places for parking” once permission is obtained.

Kenst was unsure if a new logo will be used, noting that last year Salem High School teacher Janis Yereb handled a logo contest at the school, but has retired. Kenst said no one has contacted him about it for this year’s event.

He said the Show and Shine was a success and will “hopefully” return to anchor the Sunday show.

An adjustment to the parade route, taking it all the way out to Southeast Boulevard is being considered and more signs will be obtained to direct cruisers to the major staging points.

Tom Hall, who co-organized the Expert Tire Show ‘n Shine, said better signs were needed so the cars know where to go and Roe Haskin, the former director of the Salem Perry Township Crime Watch organization, said that street rodders who couldn’t park at Timberlanes drove to Arby’s.

Hall suggested the DJs start earlier on Saturday evening and felt they only needed one on Saturday.

Jim Bonfert, who was an advisor and consultant for previous cruises did not attend but Kenst said he was “still trying to keep him involved … we’re trying to keep him involved as much as possible.”

Bonfert saved the cruise three years ago when it all but died by convincing former Safety Service Director Steve Andres to have the city manage it.

Andres, in turn, convinced former Mayor Jerry Wolford to back the plan and the cruise continues into 2013.

Bonfert said Wednesday that if asked he will be happy to act in an advisory or consulting capacity.

The next meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m., Feb. 27 in city hall.

Larry Shields can be reached at