SALEM - City crews are preparing the streets for the 8th Salem Super Cruise this weekend.
Signs have been posted at entrances to the city advising motorists to "expect heavy traffic" from June 20 through the 23rd.
The Super Cruise will officially kick off at State Street and Broadway Avenue on Thursday evening, according to Service Safety Director Ken Kenst, but Essex I will hold its annual Back to the 50s car cruise from 5 p.m. t0 8:30 p.m. today at 2511 Bentley Dr.
Disc jockey Big Rick will start the show off on the Broadway stage on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. and the Stadium GM SuperStore is greeting cruisers with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s race car on display at its new showroom at 292 W. State St.
Arby's will also hold a cruise on Thursday evening.
The Goodyear blimp Spirit of Goodyear is scheduled, weather permitting, to visit the Super Cruise on Friday afternoon and should be overhead from approximately 12:30 to 3 p.m.
Anyone wishing to post photos or comment on the Spirit of Goodyear can do so at www.facebook.com/GoodyearBlimp.
Most local residents are aware that East Third Street and East and West Pershing Streets are available as secondary routes off of State Street.
Pershing Street can take motorists from Georgetown Road, on the west side city limits, to Cunningham Road which is on the east side of the city limits.
"That's why we put those signs up," Kenst said Tuesday, explaining that for people wanting to avoid State Street altogether and didn't want to participate that East Third Street and Pershing Street were alternate routes.
Kenst said barricades will begin showing up between today and Thursday at different places in the city and South Broadway Avenue between East State Street and East Pershing Street will be blocked off this morning to allow vendors to set up.
South Broadway Avenue from East Pershing Street to Columbia Street will be blocked off on Thursday but will allow water department customers at the drive-through window in city hall access onto South Broadway Avenue.
Super Cruise T-shirts and hats are available at city hall in women's sizes of small through extra large and men's sizes from small through XXX-large and there are kid's sizes. All T-shirts are $10 each.
The red and black hats are one-size-fits all and are also $10 each.
Kenst said there will be a Super Cruise follow-up meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 24 in city hall.
For more information, visit www.salemsupercruise.com.
The Steel Valley Super Nationals at Quaker City Motorports Park will also be held this weekend.
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org