Pottsville Cruise Night used to be right up there with the Super Bowl.
That’s not a stretch, either. For some people in town, it was bigger.
At the height of its glory, Cruise Night had no problem drawing 20,000 people to Pottsville.
So, at the 26th annual Great Pottsville Cruise on Saturday, the event served as another reminder of what used to be.
The Great Pottsville Cruise 2019
We’re not going to take shots at what the Pottsville Cruise has become. The people who organize the event and keep it going for more than a quarter-century should be proud. It’s a nice classic car show set against some of downtown Pottsville’s nicest blocks.
That’s great if you’re into classic cars but the best parts of the old Cruise Night were about so much more than the cars.
Again, this isn’t about what the Pottsville Cruise is now. It’s what it once was.
The Truly Great Pottsville Cruises of Yesteryear
Usually, when you hear of how great Pottsville once was, you’re listening to stories nearly 70 years old in some cases.
But when we say Pottsville Cruise Night used to be a truly great event, we’re only going back to the turn of the century … this century. How many times do you hear about people longing for things from 2002 around here? Not that often.
Cruise Night was the most looked-forward-to events of the county calendar. It was more than just some car show but it was quite the car show. It’s really the reason any other town around here has a Cruise Night. Everyone wanted to duplicate the success of Pottsville’s Cruise Night.
People came from everywhere to show off their classics. And we, as a community, turned out in droves to see them. The Cruise rode through the downtown and up and down West Market Street. And everywhere along the cruise route, people lined the streets to see the cars, see their friends, and party-hop from one shindig to the next.
The people of Pottsville prided themselves on their Cruise Night parties. There was actually a competition for best party. And if you were even remotely social in town, you had a half-dozen invites to parties all along the route. If you didn’t, you could find plenty to keep you entertained.
Cruise Night really was about more than the cruise. It was one event that really tied all of Pottsville together. That’s something we really haven’t seen since.
Just Another Pottsville Memory?
But this is a story we’ve heard many times before. And this could be Pottsville’s first fond memory of the 21st Century.
Ohhh, do you remember when Cruise Night was … ?
Now that we’re asking this, it stands to reason we’re already at that point with the Pottsville Cruise.
It’s not the Cruise’s fault. And it’s not anyone associated with the Cruise’s fault.
But the time to revive Cruise Night as it once was is now or likely never again.
Make Cruise Night Great Again
So, how do you make Cruise Night Great Again? It’s simple. Get the community back involved.
Rather than inviting people to a carefully-planned Cruise event, Pottsville needs to figure out how to reverse engineer it.
The best parts of Cruise Night were the things no one on the planning committee could plan.
And, of course, the burnouts!
Image: Licensed from Depositphotos.com