BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – Well, Cruisin' the Coast for 2010 is in the history books. But what an event it was. Almost 5000 cars were registered, and hundreds more showed up. No doubt, it was the best Cruisin' event since Hurricane Katrina, and perhaps the best ever.
And did we ever need it here on the coast. After the summer of the oil spill, and the sputtering economy, coast tourism was on the rocks. But once again, the cruisers came through for us. Mother Nature helped as well, giving us ten straight days of perfect weather.
Hotels were slammed, restaurants were slammed, tourist attractions were slammed, and that was great news for an industry that has been hit hard by the triple threat of recent years: Katrina, the economic recession, and the oil spill. Because of the cruisers, we may have finally turned the corner and brought ourselves back from the brink.
As for the cruisers themselves, you could not ask to meet more interesting and friendly people. I covered two major events for Cruisin' the Coast. The Biloxi block party early Wednesday morning. I arrived in downtown about 5:15 and was stunned to see hundreds of cars and people already in place for an event that didn't even start until 8am.
I was assigned to do two live shots for our early morning show. I thought I might have trouble convincing people to do a live interview with me at the crack of dawn. I thought wrong. I approached two people, and both said yes with friendly smiles on their faces. They even offered me coffee, as well as conversation. All of the cruisers were very proud of their cars, and more than willing to talk about them.
The second event I covered was the Sock Hop in Ocean Springs Friday evening. This time, thousands of people showed up, and cars were lined up as far as the eye could see. You would think with that many people crammed into a small area of downtown, there might be trouble or frayed tempers. No so. Everybody showed perfect behavior and good old Southern manners. People were dancing, talking, and of course, showing off their cars. I left with a good feeling inside as I worked on the story for that night.
So once again cruisers, thanks for a splendid week, drive home carefully, and we'll see you next year.