GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - City officials estimate more than 15,000 people came to downtown Gulfport Sunday. Not only was it a huge kick-off for Cruisin' the Coast, it was a kick-off with style.
With hundreds of amazing cars in one place at one time, cruisers have to do something different to stand out in the crowd.
"I like characters," Jerry Drewes said. "So, I look at cars that have character."
Twenty years ago, Drewes smashed a 1939 Chrysler and 1957 Chevy together to make his Bat Fink Mobile. The reaction is always worth the effort.
"Oh, it's priceless," he said. "Just the smile on their faces and everybody laughing."
Another center of attention was Beasley, a 13-year-old dachshund, who had his ride special made by owner Edrien Breaux of Picayune.
"He's getting a little up in age and his health is not the best," Breaux said. "He needed a set of wheels to ride in, so we got it done for Cruisin' the Coast. He was a rescue and now he thinks he won the lottery."
The 2017 View the Cruise had long tentacles; spreading out for blocks.
"View the Cruise has been going on now for some time," said Chris Vignes with the city of Gulfport. "We set a record almost every year. It sets the tone for the rest of the week, and we're excited to have all these guests here."
Karol Sanderson comes every year, honing in on the Corvettes.
"When I was a young girl, my brother used to give us a ride to school - race us to school to get us there on time," she said. "That's pretty much where it comes from."
James Thomas has taken his granddaughter, Taylor Thomas, to Cruisin' the Coast since she was 3 years old.
"I'm big into Cruisin' and having my granddaughter big into Cruisin' is healthy."
And the enthusiasm is catching.
Click here to see the full schedule of events and more on Cruisin' the Coast from our friends at Gulf Coast Weekend.