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Broad Street Cruise-In is this Saturday in downtown Kingsport

J. H. Osborne • Updated Aug 9, 2017 at 11:10 AM

KINGSPORT — From the late 1940s to the early 1980s, cruising Broad Street — from the train station to Church Circle and back again, and again, and again — was a primary social activity for many of the Model City’s younger crowd.

It was the perfect place to show off your ride.

On Saturday from noon until 5 p.m., car enthusiasts are invited to relive some of that attitude and atmosphere at the annual Broad Street Cruise-In. The event is sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police and the Downtown Kingsport Association.

Johnny McClellan, one of the event’s organizers, said the show was started by the Downtown Kingsport Association several years ago to commemorate the glory days of hanging out downtown.

This is billed as the 17th year of this show, McClellan said, noting it has grown substantially since it was first started and held in the relatively small parking lot behind the Kingsport Public Library.

Now the event typically attracts about 350 cars of all makes, models and condition, which line up mainly along Main Street in front of the train station, but they also utilize Broad Street.

Back when cruising Broad was a major social activity on Friday and Saturday nights, making the four-block drive from Church Circle to the train station (Broad Street’s total length), could take an hour, McClellan said.

Those interested in showing a vehicle can register at the show for $20.

“The show is open to all street rods, classics, muscle cars, rat rods, motorcycles and late models,” McClellan said. And there’s even a category for pedal cars and wagons.

Cars are not judged, but about 25 plaques will be presented for choice awards. Also, each entrant will get a dash plaque and goody bag.

Funds raised at the event will be used by the FOP to support children’s charities.

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