SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - One of the Gulf Coast's most popular events is more than a month away, but it's already breaking records for participation. Cruisin' the Coast is seeing a spike in early registration.
"We're looking for a big show this year," said Executive Director Woody Bailey.
The Oct. 5, start date may seem like a long time from now, but for the Cruisin' the Coast team, it's time to get down to business. Pre-registration for the 18th annual event ended on Aug. 15, and the crew now has a large stack of applications to sort through.
"Some things have been affected by the economy; businesses and things of that nature, but Cruisin' the Coast has not been," said Bailey.
Although it's now one of the biggest events to call the Coast home, Cruisin' had a humble beginning.
"We started in 1996 with 374 vehicles total," said Bailey.
Now, 18 years later, Bailey is preparing for 8,000. Registration is already up 300 entries from this time last year. Bailey expects to count almost 6,000 in pre-registrations alone.
So, what's the secret to such a successful to-do?
"Word of mouth, people being here. I think a lot of the folks who come enjoy it so much they go back and tell their friends," said Bailey.
Those friends show up from all over the country. In fact, cars from 38 states have been registered, so far. There are even a few from Canada thrown in the mix, but when all those folks get together, Bailey says everybody has one purpose. "That's what's exciting to me, personally, is seeing the whole Gulf Coast working together to a common goal of having a good Cruisin' the Coast," said Bailey.
Registration will open back up on Oct. 6, at 11 a.m. Several new events are scheduled to get kicked off this year, including Pascagoula's participation in the fun, as well as an auto cross event at the coliseum.
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