Rain or shine

TUPELO – For the classic car enthusiasts at the seventh annual Blue Suede Cruise, it might as well have been sunny all weekend.
Despite rain on Saturday and much of Sunday morning, Blue Suede Cruise officials and attendees said this year was a success. The festival wrapped up Sunday morning at the BancorpSouth Arena with a small awards ceremony.
“It’s been a good year, all things considered,” said Allen McDaniel, director of the event. “People have had a lot of fun.”
The classic car festival welcomed more than 700 vehicles from states like Kentucky, Ohio, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri and Georgia. The Cruise also welcomed a Canadian car enthusiast and his vehicle.
For three days, they admired the cars and talked shop, listened to music by artists such as the Landmark Quartet, Surf’s Up and Elvis Presley Tribute Artist Bill Brooks, and signed up for the 2010 Blue Suede Cruise.
McDaniel said the rain didn’t spoil the fun.
“People say it was a washout – this was definitely not a washout,” he said.
There’s no way to count how many folks came to this year’s festival, but McDaniel said he would guess anywhere from 7,500 to 10,000 attendees.
Among them were Gale and Ruth Anne Sherman of Starkville.
This was the couple’s fourth year at the festival. They camped out at a park and brought their 1941 Ford to show off.
“I enjoy looking at the other cars,” Gale said as he admired a creamy yellow shade on a Chevrolet Chevelle inside the Arena. “I like to see how other people have changed and refurbished their cars.”
The Shermans’ sunny attitude was felt by the hundreds in the Arena Sunday morning, checking under hoods and admiring paint jobs.
“Even though it rained,” McDaniel said, “we’re still happy.”
Contact Seena Barnett at (662) 678-1580 or sheena.barnett@djournal.com.

Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal