By Debbie Adams
The first Vinton Cruise-In of the season drew a large crowd to the Vinton Farmers’ Market on March 18, despite a chilly wind.
Car cruise-ins had been a tradition and a weekend fixture in Vinton in various locations prior to the pandemic, including the parking lots at Valley Hall and at Vinton Motors.
The events resumed last year with great success on the Farmers’ Market, renamed “Vinyard’s Cruise-In” in memory of Vinton’s Billy Vinyard who had a love for cars and the town. For decades, he was the owner of Vinton Motors Company at the corner of Washington Avenue and Pollard Street where Vinyard Station now stands.
What’s the difference between a car show and a cruise-in? The difference basically is that car shows are more formal and generally involve fees and judging.
Cruise-In’s are more “come and go” for both spectators and car-owners. Most, including the Vinton Cruise-In, are free to attend. They are a great place to learn about particular cars, as owners seem to love sharing details about their cars, along with how difficult, easy, or expensive they were to restore.
Both have the same purpose of letting people show off their classic cars, muscle cars, brand-new cars, souped-up cars, and unique cars for fellow car enthusiasts and for those who appreciate and enjoy looking at beautiful machines. There is usually some nostalgia involved as people recall cars from their youth or in their families. You are welcome to bring a chair, sit a spell, socialize, and reminisce.
Both types of events are weather-dependent, especially if precipitation is predicted.
This year, the name of the Vinton event has reverted to “Vinton Cruise-In” with gatherings scheduled every third Saturday from March through September.
The Vinton Cruise-In’s are organized by Vinton Community Programs Director Chasity Barbour, along with Will Thomas and Franklin Ridpath.
Other Cruise-In dates for 2023 include April 15, May 20, June 17, July 15, Aug. 19, and Sept. 16.
The Farmers’ Market is located at 204 West Lee Avenue in downtown Vinton. For more information contact Vinton Community Programs Director Chasity Barbour at firstname.lastname@example.org.