Salem prepared for 8th Super Cruise this weekend

SALEM – Preparations for this weekend’s 8th annual Salem Super Cruise are going according to plan, Service Safety Director Ken Kenst said Thursday.

It’s getting into gear as vendors hooked up electric and water and banners were beginning to fly. The cruise officially began at 6 p.m. Thursday with DJ Big Rick at the Broadway stage.

The Firestone/Turbo Bigfoot #12 truck will be on display at Expert Tire both today and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

It is also sponsored by Summit Racing Equipment.

The Salem Expert Tire store manager John Tolson said, “For the last three years everyone has asked for its return, so that is why we decided to bring Bigfoot back.”

According to the Bigfoot website (, Bigfoot #12 is the 14th vehicle built in the Bigfoot fleet.

It is “a dedicated display truck” with a tubular chassis similar to the race trucks and was first displayed in conjunction with Super Bowl XXVII in Los Angeles in January of 1993.

Since then, it has logged more than 200 display days per year at Firestone and Summit Racing Equipment dealers and other events across the country.

The driver is Ron Bachmann and Bigfoot #12 will head to Portland, Maine next week and then on to Madison, N.C for the July 5-7 weekend before going to Damariscotta, Maine and then back to Ohio for an appearance at the Akron Aero’s baseball game on July 16.

Bigfoot #12 is a 1979 fiberglass pickup body that sits atop a custom tube four-link suspension and eight custom nitrogen charged shocks; the tires are Firestone 66x43x25.

It is powered by a 572 cubic inch methanol-burning engine and weighs in at approximately 10,000 lbs. The axles are ZF with internal planataries with the power pushed through a C6 gearbox.

Also on display will is Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Sprint Cup car at the Stadium GM Supersrtore this weekend.

Events today include the Goodyear blimp Spirit of Goodyear in the sky over the Super Cruise from about 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.; an antique car show at Centennial Park from 5 to 8 p.m. sponsored by the Tri State Antique Auto Club; DJ Big Rick will be at the Broadway stage from 6 to 8 p.m. before Manhattan performs there from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

At the Timberlanes stage, the Lazy River Band will be spotlighted from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Night Moves will take center stage from 9 to 11 p.m.

On Saturday the parade begins at 6 p.m. on Jennings Avenue and runs eastbound on State Street to Southeast Boulevard and turns right on E. Pershing St. It concludes at the municipal parking lot and main show car area at Penn Avenue. There is also show car parking on South Broadway Avenue.

Also, the Arby’s Saturday night cruise will host its first cruise wedding when Kimberly K. Fatherly and Stephen L. Bailey will be married at 3 p.m. Saturday during the cruise-in.

Arby’s cruise organizer Gene Johnson said they researched it and as far as they can tell it will be the first cruise-in wedding ever in the area.

Everyone is invited, he said. Also Randy Strader and Tribute band rocks the Arby’s cruise at 5 p.m., and the Abbey Road Beatle Tribute Band will be spotlighted at 7 p.m.

Kenst related that a man came into city hall and purchased some T-shirts. He said the man brings three cars to the Super Cruise and Quaker City Motorsports Park.

He loves the whole weekend here, Kenst said, adding he compared it to Christmas.

Larry Shields can be reached at