SALEM - The 9th annual Salem Super Cruise will officially kick off a high-powered roar at 7 p.m. Thursday when cruisers will be advised to, "Start your engines," for a thunderous tribute to the American hot rod.
Gene Johnson, who heads up the Arby's Cruisin' Crew that organizes the show-car parking, said Mayor John Berlin will give the order from the municipal parking lot on East Pershing Street. It will be transmitted by Internet across the city to the Arby's lot and the show car parking lot on East Second Street. Johnson said it was a way of welcoming car cruisers, and he expected engines to be revved for 30 seconds.
The Super Cruise begins with a "Back to the 50s" annual pre-cruise at Essex at 5 p.m. Wednesday. It runs through Sunday and concludes with the Salem Super Cruise Autocross at Salem High School, the Bricker Automotive Show 'n Shine and the big 50/50 raffle drawing.
Along with the engine-revving start-up, the four-day raffle is a new aspect with half the money raised going to the Salem Community Food pantry which the Arby's Cruisin' Crew supports.
"All the money goes into the four-day pot," Johnson said. The winning ticket will be drawn at 3 p.m. during Sunday's Show 'n Shine. Mayor Berlin will select the winning ticket. Johnson said there were 20,000 tickets and 4,500 numbers will be assigned through a streamlined registration system in which buyers sign up one time and don't have to fill out the back of each ticket.
The four-day 50/50 tickets will sell at three for a $1 or 15 (arm's length) for $5. "We're shooting for about $5,000," Johnson said, explaining the winner does not have to be present during the drawing on Sunday.
There is another big raffle that is being called "The Tool Box Raffle" in which the prize is a tool box donated by Jackson Auto Supply NAPA in Salem. The tool box is valued at $900. Tickets are $5 each and available at Jackson's Auto Supply on the West State Street-Jennings Avenue intersection or at the three show-car parking locations during the cruise. The winning ticket will be drawn by Bob Jackson Sunday afternoon at the Show 'n Shine.
Trophies for the Bricker Automotive Show 'n Shine came about through the efforts of Tom and Patty Hall of Lisbon who obtained all the items needed for the show 'n shine car show.
Kyle Cranmer of Salem Tire said the business requested the new Goodyear blimp to fly over the Super Cruise, but it is undergoing air trials. The blimp, 50-feet longer that the "Spirit of Goodyear" it replaced, is so new it is unnamed and has been sticking close to its Suffield base with test flights in the Akron area.
When the cruise kicks off Thursday there will be dash plaques issued to the first 100 cars.
They are available Thursday only and the plaques are in two pieces. Cruisers have to go to the municipal lot on East Pershing Street first for one half and then cruise over to Arby's for the second half of the plaque. "We'll start handing those out at 3 p.m. Thursday," Johnson said.
For more information, visit: www.salemsupercruise.com.
The weekend also includes the Steel Valley Super Nats sponsored by the Stadium GM Superstore at Quaker City Motorsports Park on state Route 165.
The event has Vince Neil on stage on Friday, and Bret Michaels on Saturday along with three days of test and tune drag racing, vendors row and motorcycles.
General admission is $15 per person each day which includes the concerts.
For more information, visit: steelvalleysupernationals.com.