Blessing the Classics at Diamondhead
By Wayne Cooper
Sep 17, 2013, 19:03
America’s Largest Block Party” is heading to Diamondhead. Now in it’s seventeenth year, a much larger and expanded “Cruisin’ The Coast” will be making its way to Diamondhead for the very first time, on Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The city of Diamond-head and its four member committee of Mark Duffy, Paul Mucho, Hank Holcomb and Wayne Cooper, buoyed by 100 resident volunteers and armed with a new and novel theme, “Blessing Of the Classics,” is putting together the final touches on what should be our community's most sizable event to date.
With CTC’s Chairman Woody Bailey pointing out that preregistration was 700-plus registrations ahead of last year’s event one month out, it is easy to see where 7,000 vehicles from 41 states and Canada may be on the scene during this week long, three county Gulf Coast attraction. With these figures in mind organizers are anticipating that more than 1,200 Cruisers will be visiting Diamondhead during the afternoon of this inaugural event.
Everyone from the DH merchants and the POA, to all the city employees and the police department, plus the volunteer “ambassadors” are playing a role in rolling out the red carpet for cruising guests.
The event is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at Diamondhead’s South side, where the staging area will be held. The cruisers will be lined up prior to beginning their predetermined route on the perimeter of Diamondhead. From 3-6 p.m., the parade of classic cars will be continually heading down Diamondhead Drives North, West and East and ending at the shopping center, the event’s final destination.
The classic cars will make two planned pit stops during their scenic journey through Diamondhead. As they enter the circle housing the community center and the POA offices, the cars will be greeted by a POA-sponsored tent where the “ambassadors’ will be distributing “goody bags” to all of the drivers. Over 60 percent of the community’s retailers, the city, the country club, and The Hancock County Tourism Bureau are participating in the bag’s offerings which includes special discounts, maps and souvenirs for a day in our city.
The next stop, the blessing, will occur at the Diamondhead Circle and Lanai Street. There, similar to the blessing of the shrimp fleet in South Mississippi, each registered classic and driver will be blessed and receive a certificate of blessing from the retired Rector Bill White, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Rev. Charles Jones of the Community Church in Diamondhead, Father Gus Wall of the Divine Word Missionary in Bay St. Louis and Pamela Boudreaux, founder and senior pastor of Breakthrough Believers in Houma.
From the “Blessing” site, the classic cars will cruise-in to Diamondhead’s Shopping Center where the fun will continue. There, among other highlights, visitors will be treated to Rouse’s Music Stage featuring the rock n’ roll sounds of Biloxi’s four piece band, “Tight Squeeze.”
Also awaiting the cruisers arrival will be two NHRA Division 4 Race cars, his & her Camaros, on display courtesy of Dairy Queen, Coast Radio 102’s van, and deejay “Super Dave” on the air, broadcasting from the stage area with prizes for lucky attendees, and a cash beer bar setup by the local Rotary Club in the site of what is soon to be a True Value Store. All the merchants will be decked out with “Welcome Cruisers” signs inviting our visitors to come eat, shop and save!
As a reminder to Diamondhead residents it is suggested that when returning home on Oct. 9 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., take exit 13 Kiln and enter Diamondhead via Kiln -Delisle and Kapalama to avoid possible long delays at exit 16.