Blue Suede Cruise: Classic cars show, but no shine

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The sun wasn’t shining off any chrome, but the classic cars looked cool at the Tupelo Blue Suede Cruise on Friday.
“I’m glad people brought some pretty good rides out,” said Donnie Watson, 43, of Booneville. “Even though they’re in the rain, they still look good.”
Watson brought his wife’s 2012 Camaro to the event at the BancorpSouth Arena. While not an antique car, cruise officials make allowances for modern American sports cars.
They also make allowances for the weather. The Van-Dells were originally scheduled to perform outside, but the band set up inside the arena for Friday’s concert.
That was good news for Nancy Barrick, 58, of Indianapolis, and Kelly Mason, 48, of Cincinnati.
“We’re here to see the band,” Barrick said. “It’s that good ’50s and ’60s music.”
“She’s been a fan for 39 years,” Mason said. “I’ve been a fan for about 25.”
If all goes as meteorologists have predicted, The Van-Dells will perform outside at 7:30 p.m. today with the Bouffants opening the music at 5:30 p.m. Both shows are free.
Allen McDaniel, cruise director, said 403 cars had preregistered for the event, which would’ve been a Blue Suede Cruise record if Mother Nature had cooperated.
People found shelter in the arena, and checked out cars through the windows. Moods were generally positive.
“There is definitely a camaraderie going on,” McDaniel said.
Classic car fans can catch Fords, Chevys, GMCs, Pontiacs and more during today’s parade. It’ll start at about 9 a.m. today and go south on Gloster Street, then turn east on Main Street to the Tupelo Automobile Museum.
This is Sharon Powell’s third Blue Suede Cruise. The 66-year-old Tupelo resident operates the Queen of Ice Cream stand. Business wasn’t as brisk as she would’ve hoped, but some people stopped by.
“We even sold some of our big milkshakes, so that’s 24 ounces,” she said, wearing a rain-dappled yellow poncho that she keeps in her purse for emergencies.
scott.morris@journalinc.com