Revved up at the Franklin Cruise-In opener

Published 5:32 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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The 10th Franklin Cruise-In opener on Wednesday, May 8, was well-attended and ushered in a new era of the event with Coldwell Banker Now serving as the main sponsor.

Christine Hill is manager broker of the Franklin and Chesapeake offices of Coldwell Banker Now, and she is also now the lead organizer of the cruise-in.

“We’re so excited,” she said. “It’s a great event.”

She noted that the opener was postponed from its original date of Wednesday, May 1, due to the threat of inclement weather, but the crowd was patient and showed up on May 8 in downtown Franklin.

“We had a great turnout,” she said, estimating there were 75 to 80 vehicles on display.

And the vehicles and their owners came from all over.

“We’ve got people now coming from North Carolina,” Hill said. “We have one guy that drove from Emporia … Suffolk. We have one guy that came from Chesapeake. It’s so random. They come from everywhere, so it’s not only Franklin and Southampton County.”

She said that organizers have heard a lot of good responses from participants thus far, and efforts are underway to implement some new elements to the cruise-in with the goal of pulling in more people and vehicles.

She emphasized that the cruise-in is not just for cars. It also features motorcycles and trucks and enjoys participation from Jeep clubs in addition to Corvette clubs.

“And then there’s specialty vehicles, so people bring their dune buggies and then their three-wheelers and all kinds of different things,” she said. “We were working with the race track to see if maybe they wanted to bring out some of their cars on a certain Wednesday and let them show off some of their stuff. So we’re just working with different things to kind of change it up a little bit this year.”

She said her son, Roy Hill, who also works with her at Coldwell Banker, is helping her with organization of the cruise-in.

“He’s out there every Wednesday helping me set up and get things going, and he’s working with different people in the community to bring out things as well,” she said.

The cruise-in takes place next to the Franklin Fire & Rescue station in the parking lot that borders South Main Street, and the event spills out onto the street as well.

“And we do have the option of overflowing into the market,” Hill said. “We got that this year, so we will be taking and doing some things over at the market hopefully once a month, and that will start probably in June. So we’re working on that now with the city, because one of our major sponsors is the city, so we’re working on some stuff with them as well this year.”

Another addition to the cruise-in is an opportunity for all participants to turn on the engines of their vehicles and rev them up corporately for about a minute. This took place during the opener.

“Everybody loved that,” Hill said. “That was great. They were running to their cars.”

Hill indicated that the plan moving forward is that around 5 or 5:30 p.m. during the cruise-ins, a song to recognize the community and country will be played, like the national anthem or something from Lee Greenwood, and then the rev-up moment will occur.

Weather permitting, the cruise-in will be held from 4-7 p.m. every Wednesday from now through the beginning of October in the same area of downtown Franklin.