Classic Vehicles parked outside the The Whiskey Bar in Pass Christian for the annual Cruisin’ the Coast event on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (Calvin Ishee/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

by Calvin Ishee

In spite of having to overcome countless challenges, many believe that the “2020 Cruisin The Pass” events were an overwhelming success.  Although the biggest hurdle involved the fears associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of classic car enthusiasts participated in this year’s Cruisin’ events.

An assortment of entertainment experiences took place in Pass Christian on Thursday, October 8th and Friday, October 9th. In addition to seeing hundreds of classic and vintage cars, visitors were treated to delicious food booths, various artist booths and talented bands.

Vendors stated that in spite of having less people than last year, they were pleased with the overall turnout as well as their 2020 sales.

The Hypnotic 2 entertainers play their jazz rendition walking in between the Davis Pavilion and Second Street for the annual Cruisin’ in the Pass event Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

The Gazebo Gazette interviewed Adam Pace, Pass Christian Cruisin’ the Coast Site Manager regarding this year’s event:

The Gazebo Gazette:  About how many cars and people participated in Pass Christian events?

Adam Pace:  “This year we estimate that over 6,000 registered cars rolled through Pass Christian.”

GG:   In your opinion, what impact did COVID have this year?

AP:  “As with most of 2020, the COVID-19 virus had our backs against the wall. Registration numbers where down for the first time in Cruisin’s 24 year history.  With strategic planning, the elimination of some events, and coordination with state and local leaders, the 24th annual Cruisin’ the Coast became a reality. Although down 1,842 cars from the previous years registration, this year proved to be a success.”

GG:  What were you most proud of about this years event?

AP:  “This is the eighth year that we have hosted Cruisin’ in Pass Christian.  The Pass and the Mississippi Gulf Coast are no strangers to adversity. With the difficulties of COVID-19 and the threat of a hurricane, I am most proud of the city, the citizens and the business owners of our town that stood tall and hosted this event. We invite thousands of guest to our doorstep each year and many of them consider the Pass to be a step above.”

GG:  Please provide any comment(s) you feel appropriate regarding this year and next year’s program.

AP:  “As we look ahead to the 25th anniversary of Cruisin’ the Coast the excitement of what is to come starts to build. The burnout event that has risen to be one of the largest events during Cruisin’ will return. We look to make the event bigger and better each year and with 806 cars registered for next year, the planning for the 25th Cruisin’ is already under way.”

GG:  Who would you like to thank and/or recognize regarding this year’s successful event?

AP:  “ I would like to thank the over 700 volunteers across the coast for making this year happen. I would also like to thank each and every registered car and visitor that made Pass Christian a part of their experience.  Above all I would like to thank the City of Pass Christian, the public works department, and the police and fire department. Thank you for the countless time and effort you all do to make this a success.”

Pace concluded by commenting, “ Overall, 2020 was a success. The Pass rose to the occasion, the weather held off, the cars showed and the music played.”

Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott added, “October is always a slow month everywhere on the Coast, so Cruisin’ came at the ideal time to help local businesses. Being an outdoor event, Mother Nature always plays a part. This year may have been a little down, but was still just what the doctor ordered to help promote our City and economy”.

Mary-Catherine Scriber, owner of The Whiskey Bar commented, “We absolutely love Cruisin’ the Coast and seeing people from all over the country enjoying themselves. The cars were cool and the bands were great. Speaking of bands, we’ve got the future superstar group from Mississippi, Chapel Hart performing in the Whiskey Bar on Saturday October 24th and Sunday, October 25th. Tickets are going fast and this may be your only chance to see this very talented group that’s destined for stardom.

So all in all this year’s Cruisin in The Pass exceeded expectations of the officials, participants, car owners, local businesses and most importantly, Coast residents.