Cruise panel holds final meeting before event

SALEM – The 2013 Salem Super Cruise committee held its last regular meeting on Tuesday before the 8th annual cruise arrives on the weekend of June 20-23.

This is the fourth year the Super Cruise is under city management and it will officially kick off at State Street and Broadway Avenue on Thursday evening June 20, according to Service Safety Director Ken Kenst.

There will be a “Back to the 50s” cruise at Essex I on Bentley Drive from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19.

In past years, the three-day event started at the Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant on East State Street but this year’s Super Cruise will “officially” begin in downtown with DJ Big Rick on stage from 6 to 9 p.m.

Kenst, who manages the Super Cruise, said scaffolding will be erected in front of the Tanfastic building to protect pedestrians on the sidewalk.

He said 45 feet will cover the Tanfastic portion and another 15 feet will cover the Butler Institute of American Art building section, where bricks have fallen.

It will cost $5,900 and the money will be taken from the municipal event line-item fund. Kenst said it was “well worth the money” to keep people safe.

He added they wanted to continue to making the event grow.

Roe Haskin asked about using $5,900 of “cruise money,” and characterized it as “money from us.”

Kenst explained it belonged to a municipal event fund and explained the scaffold was a “one-time issue … and until it’s settled in court our hands are tied.”

He also noted that Broadway Avenue from East Pershing to Columbia Street will be closed for the weekend but not until after 5 p.m. Friday to allow traffic to the water department drive-up window to remain unimpeded.

Kenst also said two pilots have volunteered to fly over the Super Cruise on Friday and Saturday to take aerial photos.

Besides that, he said cruise route signs are ready, entertainment signs will be placed at the stages and the website ( is up and running.

Tom Hall asked about city worker volunteers taking photos of the cruise and Kenst said a county commissioner will be taking pictures.

Hall also wondered about traffic entering the city, especially from the east and west ends, explaining he keeps hearing complaints from people who say “they can’t get into town … if you can’t get into to town, some said they won’t come back …”

Kenst said he would speak to the police chief about it.

The normal traffic count through the city is 10,000 cars a day east and west and 4,000 a day north and south, he said.

For more information, visit

Larry Shields can be reached at