GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As they do every year, Cruisers are arriving early to stake out their claim along the highway.
It puts them up front and close to the action 24/7. For participants, camping just yards away from roar of the steady stream of classic cars is the best way to enjoy the Coast's biggest party.
"The atmosphere's better," said Terry Webb of Wiggins. "You know when you leave to go to the hotel, it's over. But here it stays all night."
Webb has been coming to the same spot east of Tegarden Road in Gulfport for years.
While family from California park their cars at hotels, he'd rather be where the action is.
"The traffic's good here," he said. "We have a good place to sit and watch the cars go by. We're right in the middle of all the good eating places. We come to eat too."
Shane Guidry of Breaux Bridge, La., likes his spot on the Gulfport-Biloxi line.
"We like to sit here and camp and barbecue and ... have a good time," he said. "We party every night. That's what we're here for."
Walter Theroit of Sunset, La., says everybody's invited.
"It's a mixture of everything," Theroit said. "Family, friends ... anybody. Anybody that's got a car that wants to come, we'd be glad to have 'em."
Cruisin' the Coast officials are hoping that good weather, and low gasoline prices will help put the number of registrants up to the 7,500 mark.
This is only the second Cruisin' the Coast for Brett Mire of Louisiana, who showed up early with family to help set up for the others yet to come.
"I go to car shows all the time back home," Mire said. "But it's only for like a day. But this is like a week-long thing you see thousands and thousands of different cars, trucks, bikes all kinds of things."
What's the main attraction for these early arrivals?
"The cars," Theroit said. "That's what brings me here."
For a list of scheduled events and the latest Cruisin' The Coast stories, click here.