This October, it will be time to get your motor running, and head out on the highway… to Biloxi, for the 19th annual Cruisin’ The Coast® event, featuring numerous activities for everyone, including cruise-ins, headline bands and oldies entertainment.
Cruisin’ The Coast® began in 1996 as a festival to celebrate antique, classic and hot rod vehicles, nostalgic music and related events, and has grown to become “America’s Largest Block Party .” Car enthusiasts from 41 states plus Canada drive to the Mississippi Gulf Coast once a year to showcase their rides and to cruise the beautiful 30-mile stretch of beachside highway with designated stops in Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, D’Iberville, Gulfport, Pass Christian and Ocean Springs.
Each venue is set up as a mini-festival with a stage for live bands, reserved parking for registered cruisers, spectator parking and vendors for food and event merchandise. Registered cruisers – there were 7,293 registered vehicles in 2014 – receive an ID card in their registration packets to exhibit all week in their car’s front window; this ID allows entry into the venues where reserved parking is available. A program with maps will also be part of the registration packet so cruisers can plan their individual schedules as this is an open cruise – events are scheduled and you decide which ones you are interested in attending. The weeklong event includes cruise-ins, a Salute To Our Veterans event, car auction, swap meet, car corral and a parade. Spectators are welcome and will find that cruisers love to talk “old cars.”
Special events within the festival include the Biloxi Block Party, which takes over the downtown area on October 7, a sock hop at the Beau Rivage Casino (also October 7) and an appearance by Dennis Gage from the TV show “My Classic Car,” who’ll be signing autographs on October 11.
Cruisin’ The Coast® has 12 Host Car Clubs providing over 700 volunteers who help with registering vehicles, directing cars at the venues, giving directions, and welcoming our guests. These are just the jobs cruisers see. There are hundreds of behind the scenes and pre-event activities that volunteers help with all year long. When you see someone in a bright yellow staff shirt – that is a fellow car lover who is donating time to make this a fun event for all. If you get a chance, you may want to say thank you to a volunteer during your visit.
Cruisin’ The Coast® has become the biggest special event in the state of Mississippi. As it has grown, the honors and awards have followed suit. Cruisin’ The Coast® received the Governor’s Excellence in Tourism Award as Festival/Event of the Year in the State of Mississippi. The extravaganza was also named the recipient of the “Shining Example Award” for Best Festival/Event of the year by the Southeast Tourism Society, one of the “100 Events for the Year” for 2001 and in 2011 by the American Bus Association and was also named a Southern Travel Treasure by AAA’s magazine, AAA Southern Traveler. In 2007, the Automotive Restoration Market named Cruisin’ The Coast the 2007 Restoration Event of the Year.
So if you’re interested in steering your vacation plans toward Biloxi, remember: Cruisin’ The Coast® runs from October 4th to 11th. To learn more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.