Arby’s car cruises continue with mid-season event

SALEM – The Arby’s Cruise will hold a mid-season cruise from 4 to 8 p.m. July 27 with 10 trophies to be awarded.

There will be a cruiser’s choice of all ten voted picks that will take the trophies that night, according to Gene Johnson, organizer for the cruises.

The entry fee is $2 or two cans of food.

There will also be a Chinese auction.

The Arby’s cruises benefit the Salem Community Food Pantry and has collected 42,958 pounds of food so far this season.

“Our goal is 100,000 pounds,” said Johnson.

Last summer the cruises donated 87,000 pounds.

Johnson said they have been featuring two cars each week- a street rod and an all-original car.

“We’ve been getting some real nice cars to come out,” he said, adding they’ve been averaging about 100 cars each night.

Weather has been a problem. Rain has canceled or shortened five cruises.

“As of last Saturday, we have had some bad nights over the past three weeks,” Johnson said, explaining they’ve attracted as many as 140 to 150 cars on “Green Light” weather nights while 50 to 60 show up even when the weather has been in question.

“We’ll be hard pressed to get that goal,” Johnson said, “but we’ll keep doing what we’re doing.”

The Arby’s Car Cruise has built a large friend base on Facebook.

It did not have a Facebook presence in February and today it has nearly 2,400 friends and is routinely followed by 66 people.

West coast custom chopper builder Jesse James is a friend of the cruise.

Johnson said the Chinese auction at the mid-season cruise will include 30 items and is open to the public.

“You don’t have to be a cruiser to participate,” he said.

A “dress the 50’s night” is scheduled for 4 p.m. Aug. 2.

“Anyone can come out and participate,” Johnson said, adding there will be trophies for the best costumes.

On Aug. 31 there will be a judged model car night open to the public for people who build a model car or truck for display.

Awards will be given to the top three in three age groups including 6 to 12 years old; 13 to 18 years old and 19 to 100 years old.

There will also be a Chinese auction.

Johnson said they are also keying on a Halloween costume and car decoration cruise that is scheduled for 3 p.m. Oct. 12.

“We’re trying to get the word out about that,” Johnson said.

This year’s cruise has already hosted its first cruiser’s wedding when Stephen L. Baily and Kimberly K. Fatherly exchanged vows on June 22.

Visit the Arby’s Car Cruise at