Cruise organizers meet for debriefing

Safety Service Director Ken Kenst expects to have the financial results for the 8th annual city-managed Salem Super Cruise in a month “at the most.”

Six people attended the Super Cruise debriefing on Tuesday and vendor committee Chairman Mick Orosz said, “Friday was amazing” while explaining that other than minor issues “everyone seemed happy.”

Orosz received a call from one woman this week inquiring about bringing pony rides back for the kids and said he would look into it if that’s what the cruise organizers want.

Kenst said that could be discussed when the cruise committee meets again in January to discuss the 9th Super Cruise.

Two things that needed adjusted, Kenst said, are communications and volunteers. He said radios should be obtained for communication between show car parking lots.

“We need to make sure we do have radios next year,” he said.

He also noted that even with about 75 volunteers the event fell short by about 25.

“We need more volunteers,” he said explaining that city employees and their family members volunteered.

“That’s a lot of people, but we can use a lot more,” he said before recapping the event from the Spirit of Goodyear ( flying over the Super Cruise to 10,000 brochures being distributed.

One repeated request was for a vendor’s map and Kenst said that would be considered next year if they have that layout before it’s printed.

It was also suggested that next year’s brochure be increased to 16 pages.

The 9th Super Cruise will be held the weekend of June 19-22.

Kenst said there were a couple of issues and one was in regard to dogs being around cars.

Mayor John Berlin said, “I was hoping we can just post signs at the entrances (to show-car parking) … that due to the cost of the cars …”

He said the police can’t do anything about it and Sam Sicilia, a Super Cruise committee member said, “If you’re asking me personally, I would back off of it.”

Berlin said signs could advise people to keep control of their dogs.

Cara Milhoan, president of the Salem Perry Township Crime Watch that provided volunteers at the parking lots, said she received some comments after a dog peed on a show car.

She also said there was a problem with young kids jumping out of pickups in front of cars.

Kenst said most people thought the signs this year were an improvement, but “we didn’t do a very good job of getting people into the Methodist Church lot … my initial thought was the lot was for show-car parking.”

Sicilia read from a list of notes he collected.

“Everything I’m going to say is communication from different people,” he said, adding it contained suggestions from them.

He noted the volunteers and signs were a “big success” and the crowds were well controlled while the parade was “well directed” but needed more cars.

Sicilia also read a suggestion to “consider a professional event planner … how it was explained to me the person would organize the event and funnel all the information through him …”

Sicilia said the event planner would increase the marketing and advertising.

“We have a good thing going and word is getting out,” he said, “if anyone doesn’t think Boardman wants it back … other people want a piece of the action.”

Like Kenst, he said parking lot communication needed to be improved except he felt cell phones, “in my opinion” would work better.

It was also proposed that whatever was done at the main staging show-car lot on East Pershing Street had to be done better at the East 2nd Street lot where overflow show-car parking was displayed. He said more merchandise could be sold there.

Another suggestion regarded the bands.

Sicilia said, “We don’t need bands … you could eliminate bands in the show lots and save a lot of money.”

Other suggestions he read included blocking off Sugar Tree Alley from North Lincoln to North Lundy avenues; having the previous year’s Bricker Automotive Show ‘n Shine winner lead the parade; place a parade announcer at the Broadway stage to provide information on the cars as they passed; and put more advertising out.

Kenst said they want show cars, bands and everyone involved while noting the Super Cruise layout has limits and he did agree and questioned having a band in the Timberlanes lot late in the evening.

He did want a band on the Broadway stage saying that was what attracted regular people.

“We’re not the Ohio state fairgrounds,” he said, “we have to work with what we have.”

Orosz said he did have one vendor express dissatisfaction with her location and he moved her to East State Street near the site of the old Grand Theater.

“She was thrilled,” he said, “overall everyone was happy.” He said the third week in June was nice because vendors are committed.

“If we held is a week later, they’re at the 4th of July,” he said.

“I really don’t have too much trouble having people come back here.”

Kenst said, “We’ll be starting this again after the first of the year.”