(May 21,2021) In another return to normalcy as covid-19 concerns continue to fade, the annual Berlin Spring Cruisers event kicks off on Saturday at 10 a.m. as downtown streets will close to welcome a large contingency of rumbling American muscle cars.
Berlin Chamber of Commerce Deputy Director Steve Frene said the annual car gathering is scheduled to return in full force following a modified version held last fall.
Frene said the most recent Cruisers shindig was a significantly smaller affair because of pandemic restrictions.
“In October, we had a modified event and could only utilize a private parking lot,” he said. “We could only park 100 vehicles.”
The covid experience last year was instrumental for gaining insights about parking areas available besides traditional roads.
Berlin Spring Cruisers runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with car registration taking place from 7-9 a.m.
“We hope to get about 350 vehicles this year on the streets and designated parking lots,” he said.
“We have awards and trophies that we give out at 2 p.m. and then the event concludes,” he said.
Frene said the return to tradition also includes some fresh elements.
“We’re having a DJ play doo-wop music and we’ll be doing some trivia questions,” he said.
Trivia contest prizes are being provided by event sponsor the Treasure Chest at 20 N. Main Street and Island Creamery located at 120 N. Main Street.
“We know how much car enthusiasts love ice cream,” he said.
Also sponsoring the event is Edward Jones Investments and local financial advisor Charles Adams located at 10776 Grays Corner Road.
To accommodate the car extravaganza Main Street will be closed between West and Baker Streets for the duration of the event.
Frene said adjacent side streets, including Broad, Pitt and Commerce, would also be shut down.
Culinary delights are also on tap for participants and visitors.
“We have several restaurants opening early,” he said.
Coinciding with the start of registration at 7 a.m. both On What Grounds? Coffee House and the Evergreen Lodge, both located on N. Main Street will be open to offer sunrise nourishment.
“Evergreen Lodge will be cooking from scratch scrapple, sausage or bacon and egg sandwiches,” he said. “That will be the big breakfast and On What Grounds has great bagels, sandwiches and crêpes as well.”
Frene said at 8 a.m. both Rayne’s Reef Soda Fountain & Grill at 10 N. Main Street and Baked Dessert Café at 4 Bay Street would be open.
Commemorative items for sale include T-shirts and posters featuring a trio of iconic Detroit-produced muscle vehicles, including the Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang and Plymouth Barracuda.
T-shirts cost $20 with posters available for $5.
“We’re nonprofit, so we don’t make any money,” he said. “Basically, all we’re trying to do is cover expenses and make this a good time.”