Beginning next Sunday, Cruisin' The Coast will be getting revved up here in South Mississippi.
And despite recent storms significantly impacting the Gulf South, Cruisin' director Gene Oswalt says this year's event will not be a complete burnout.
"We're still around 4600 cars. We're anticipating between 55 and 57-hundred. So the event will be on par with last year if not slightly better. And that in a year where we cut it off at 25 years and older and where we've had gas prices going crazy all year and now four hurricanes in the vicinity," said Oswalt.
Oswalt believes the added attractions, such as new cruise-in venues like Grand Casino Gulfport and the Waveland Pit Stop, will help the expected crowd take their minds off of recent weather disasters and make the most of their time as they cruise in classic style in the biggest special event in the state.
"The casino industry had the wisdom to see it, having seen it in Hot August Nights in Reno. That it would grow this quickly, was absolutely I don't think anyone's vision. We now exceed the size of Hot August Nights in Reno. We've gone from a one million dollar economic impact to minimum 15 million and we think it's more, and we're gonna confirm that this year," said Oswalt.
And so with more than 400 volunteers on board, Oswalt believes the ninth annual Cruisin' the Coast will cruise into success as it has in years past.
"You know we're grateful for the business that it brings to the coast and hope the locals can be as patient as possible with the traffic. I know that will be the next set of questions," said Oswalt.
Oswalt says he would like to especially thank Larry and Becky Burdeshaw as well as Marilyn Dedeaux who have been working so hard to organize the event.
Cruisin' The Coast officially kicks off next Sunday at noon at the Choice Supermarket in Gulfport.