Williamsburg is getting a regular monthly car show starting in July.
The inaugural Cumberland River Cruise-In will take place from noon – 7 p.m. on July 17 in downtown Williamsburg.
“I am so looking forward to this. I have been wanting to do this for years,” noted Mayor Roddy Harrison.
A second car show is planned for Aug. 21, and no decision has been made about a third possible car show in September.
Jonathan Jones, who owns Stitched in Time, which is located near IGA, is organizing the cruise-ins.
Jones noted that youth in the community don’t have a lot to do, and, besides eating, there isn’t a lot to do downtown either.
“We don’t have anything that draws our youth in. Growing up, I went to car shows all of my life. I can simply say I have never tried drugs the first time. I owe that – I feel like – to cars. If you have an expensive hobby like cars then you don’t have extra money to spend on anything else,” he said laughingly.
Jones added that he has two young boys, who love classic vehicles. His 11-year-old has already purchased his own truck with his own money.
“It is the little red fire truck that runs around here with the flatbed on it. He is eaten up with cars. My youngest one is too. I want our youth to have something to do other than hang out in the hollers, and get influenced by people they don’t need to be getting influenced by,” Jones said.
Harrison said that he and former Main Street Manager Nannie Hays, who died in April, had worked on a car show for a long time, but they didn’t have any connections to get one started.
“He (Jonathan) came to me and asked if I was interested in starting to have these car shows and cruise-ins in Williamsburg. My answer was, ‘Oh my gosh, yes!’” Harrison noted.
The car show will be held around the old courthouse. All the streets around the old courthouse except for Main Street will be blocked off for participants to show off their vehicles.
“As it overflows, we are going to go into the parking lots across from there and watch it grow,” Jones said.
Jones added that this is how Old Fashioned Trading Days was set up when it first started and before it moved out onto Main Street.
At 7 p.m., the conclusion of each cruise-in will see car show vehicles holding a parade of sorts that will have participants cruising down Main Street and along a to be determined route before disbursing and going their separate ways.
Jones noted that the main purpose of the car show is so that new people can meet and have fun in Williamsburg.
Jones said that he has spoken with the Corbin cruise-in club about participating in the Williamsburg event in addition to speaking with some car enthusiasts in McCreary County.
Jones said that there are a few non-food vendors that he has invited to participate in the car shows, including a friend who sells performance car parts.
“I want to stay away from food vendors right now simply because I want to promote our food downtown. Our restaurants downtown are so good, and until we outgrow them and are at a 30 or 45 minute wait, we don’t need outside food vendors,” he said.
“If we bring food vendors in, then none of our people come up the street to see how wonderful Williamsburg is. We want that crowd to push up the street.”
Harrison said this year is being played by ear with the first car show starting July 17.
“If it is like anything else we have done so far, we may have 10 or we may have 100. It is just going to get bigger and better every time,” Harrison said.
Jones said that plans are to hold the car shows next year on the third Saturday of every month.
The monthly car shows will likely start again next April and conclude next fall.
Jones added that anyone, who has any questions, is welcome to stop by his shop, which has the only orange garage door in town.