Arby’s Cruise revs up for 4th year starting May 4

SALEM – The Arby’s Car Cruise will be entering its fourth year when the first cruise arrives on May 4.

As in the past, the theme is “If it’s got wheels bring it” and there will be special cruise nights highlighting different auto makes while also spotlighting rat rods, modern muscle cars, antiques, Mopars, Fords, Chevies, AMCs and on Sept. 7 the cruise will honor the Corvette’s 60th birthday.

On Oct. 12, there will be a Halloween costume and car decoration cruise.

The cruise committee is having its last meeting at 6 p.m. Saturday at Arby’s and anyone is welcome, according to organizer Gene Johnson.

Proceeds and non-perishable food donations benefit the Salem Community Food Pantry which last year received 85,000 pounds of food from the cruise.

In 2010, the cruise collected 18,500 pounds and in 2011 it collected 57,000 pounds.

Johnson said they’re shooting for 100,000 pounds this year.

“We’re definitely progressing,” he said, adding that live band entertainment by at least three local bands is scheduled.

Admission to the cruises is free to the general public and for a donation of $2 or two cans of food people can get a ticket for door prize give-aways. Johnson said about 20 door prizes are given away each Saturday.

New this year is red and green light on the Arby’s Cruise Facebook page to alert cruisers to go or no-go situations regarding the weather.

Johnson said they began the Facebook page this year and was surprised at the response.

“Yeah, we’ve been getting a lot of people from all over the country … I never realized social media was this way,” he said, adding the page received a “Thumbs up” from west coast custom motorcycle builder Jesse James.

“He gave us a thumbs-up,” Johnson said, adding that “as we get closer there are more thing’s we’re going to do on Facebook.”

One item scheduled is a wedding.

It will be the first for the Arby’s Car Cruise.

Johnson said, “We’re going to give them a cruiser’s wedding.”

He wasn’t sure what that was, but they were going to get one.

Also, cruise shirts are available only at the cruises and come in four colors and different sizes from $8 for regular sizes to $9 for 2XX sizes.

Larry Shields can be reached at