SALEM - There's a lot of cruisin' going on.
Just about everyone is holding a car show or street rod event and local street rodder Jim Bonfert, an advisor for the Salem Super Cruise, says it's become a staple for fund raising.
Bonfert recalled when the only place you would find a big gathering of street and hod rods was at Idora Park in the mid-1970's. Other than that, nobody cared for them.
It's different today, said Bonfert who owns two street rods, a 1929 Model A coupe used in the newspaper advertisements for the Idora Park shows, and a 1959 El Camino.
"We were just a little bit better than the bikers," Bonfert recalled, "nobody wanted us around ... hide the woman and children.
"(But) They love us now ... they found that they can make money ... they can draw big crowds with cars ... they don't shun you now ... "
Bonfert pointed out that bikers have undergone the same transition with poker runs.
"They can make money with them."
Pull into a car cruise today, park for 10 minutes and return to your car - there will be a flier advertising more cruises.
Right now Salem is preparing for the Salem Super Cruise from June 20 to 24. Most of the details have been finalized and the cruise committee will meet at 7 p.m. on June 6.
The Super Cruise weekend starts with a "Back to the 50s Annual Car Cruise" at Essex of Salem, rain or shine from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
On Thursday the action moves to the Dunkin' Donuts on the east side of town from 6 to 9 p.m. with DJ Big Rick. The Broadway Stage will feature the "Sonic boomers" from 7 to 9 p.m.
On Friday, there is an antique car show at Centennial Park from 5 to 8 p.m.; Big Rick is on the Broadway Stage while the Stadium GM burn-out pit runs from 6 to 10 p.m.; River Hawk is on the Timberlanes (Howells & Baird) Stage from 7 to 10 p.m.; Scott Henthorne is on the Second Street Stage from 7 to 10 p.m.; while Manhattan is on the Broadway Stage from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Saturday night features the parade at 6 p.m., while live music will be available at all three stages and the GM burn-out pit will be smoking from 6 to 10 p.m. and the First United Methodist Church will hold a Christian Cruise-in on S. Broadway Ave. from 6 to 9 p.m.
Sunday will feature the Expert Tire of Salem Show and Shine in the municipal lot across from Timberlanes. DJ Crazy Dave is spotlighted from noon until 3 p.m.
Other area shows on the radar screen include Downtown Beaver Falls, Pa., which holds its annual cruise the second Saturday in June (9) from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., rain or shine.
The cruise features classic and antique cars, dash plaques, music, door prizes and 50/50, entertainment, food, over two miles of cruise lanes.
The Beaver Township Ruritans' 8th Annual Father's Day Car show is on June 17 at the new South Range High School from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine with 17 different classes.
The Arby's Saturday night cruises in Salem continue through the fall.
Some big area bands are expected to perform including the Abbey Road Beatles Tribute Band, Randy Strader and the Tribute Band, and Uptown Saturday Night from Salem, and the Back Road Band from Salineville.
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org