Cruising on the River starts Friday

Published 11:37 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009

VIDALIA — If the streets seem a little more crowded with cooler cars than usual this weekend, it’s intentional.

The Seventh Annual River City Bad Boyz Cruising on the River car show is this weekend, and River City Bad Boyz President Roger McDonald said the group expects between 150 and 200 cars to show up.

The show will be on the north end of the Vidalia Riverfront.

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The show will have an unofficial start Thursday night with an early bird cruise, in which participants will meet at Sonic in Vidalia at 6 p.m. and then start to cruise through downtown Natchez sometime between 8 and 9 p.m.

The official kick-off begins with registration at 8 a.m. Friday. Registration will last until 3 p.m., but at 10:30 a.m. those present will take a cruise to the Natchez Trace for a picnic lunch.

“We have to get a parade permit from the cities and the Trace,” McDonald said. “(The police) escort us through town, and when we get to the Trace we go out to Cole’s Creek and cook hot dogs and serve drinks.”

Later, at 5 p.m., the show will cruise to the Delta Music Museum, where the movie “Great Balls of Fire” will be shown in the Arcade Theater.

Cruising on the River really drops into gear Saturday, with registration starting at 8 a.m. and drive-through judging beginning at 9 a.m.

Starting at 1 p.m. is the burnout competition.

For that, the city will close off a street and bring in a fire truck, and participants will burn out their back tires, trying to see who can make their tires smoke the most, McDonald said.

Then, at 2 p.m. will be the golf cart races.

“A lot of people who come are older people, and they bring their carts so they can see the show,” McDonald said. “We started racing the carts in our second show, and it has gotten to be a yearly thing that has gotten bigger and bigger.”

At 4 p.m., the club will host an auction of car memorabilia, and at 5 p.m. the car show awards will be presented. The auction and the awards show will be in the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center.

The proceeds from the event will go to the Sunshine Shelter, Pleasant Acre Day School and the Concordia Parish Council on Aging.

The group also holds some of the money in reserve for emergency situations, such as if someone’s house burns down and a charity bank account is opened for their benefit, McDonald said.

“We are trying to do for local organizations what Relay for Life does for Cancer Research,” McDonald said.

Parking will be down the riverfront from the show, but the trolley will be running, River City Bad Boyz member Amelia McDonald said.

Pre-registration for the show can be completed online at www., and the fee for those who pre-register is $30. Registration for cars on the day of the show is $40.

“Even though the schedule says registration ends at noon, we’re not going to turn anyone down if they just got off work and wanted to come down,” Amelia McDonald said.

Admission is free to the public.