First downtown car show set for Saturday
by Matt Shinall
Apr 02, 2013 | 2638 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
David Treadwell, left, and Jim Bledsoe look at cars during one of last year’s Tom Clayton Memorial Car Cruizes in downtown Cartersville. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
David Treadwell, left, and Jim Bledsoe look at cars during one of last year’s Tom Clayton Memorial Car Cruizes in downtown Cartersville. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
Hundreds of classic cars are set to line the streets of downtown Cartersville this weekend as the Tom Clayton Memorial Car Cruize makes its 2013 debut.

This year, however, the regular downtown car show will undergo some changes. The most notable of which may be the bright yellow shirts and tall fez caps of the Cartersville Shrine Club now in charge of organizing the event in an effort to raise funds for children’s health services.

Cartersville Shrine Club Noble Randy Wilson is heading up promotion for the event and hopes the organization’s cause will bring attention and crowds to the car show taking place in downtown Cartersville, Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m.

“We have a car show July Fourth every year at Dellinger Park, but hopefully this will go every month through September and all proceeds go to the Cartersville Shrine Club,” Wilson said. “We support 22 Shriner hospitals that take $22 million a day to support, but some will also go to other Shriner efforts. We have a burn center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and say there’s a child burned in Atlanta, we’ll pick up the child, carry them and one of the parents up to Cincinnati, Ohio, and pay for a room for the parents. We have runs from Atlanta to Cincinnati three or four times a week.

“But these funds go to help any kid in need. There are Shriner hospitals for any cause, we have a spinal hospital, we’ve got a neurology hospital — and we don’t ask for any money. If they have insurance and they offer, we’ll take it, but we don’t as for money — we just do it for the kids. There’s no feeling in the world like seeing a child that has had burns on 90 percent of their body come home without a single scar.”

Guests coming downtown for the event will have free access to the cars on display and anyone wishing to show off their car can do so for a $5 donation. Wilson is hoping for a successful event Saturday after which reorganizational efforts will be evaluated with the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority to determine the schedule for 2013. If things go well this weekend, the Cartersville Shrine Club could continue hosting the Tom Clayton Memorial Car Cruize each month through September.

“The DDA had been organizing the event, but when they decided not to host it anymore I put our name in the hat to raise extra money and they chose us,” Wilson said. “Advanced Auto Parts will support us. We’ll have a live D.J. playing music from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. We’ll have hamburgers, hot dogs and chips for sale. It’s just going to be a fun time. It starts at 5 and ends at 9 [p.m.]”

While taking a step back from the event this year, the DDA continues to look forward to the car show as a means of bringing guests into downtown.

“We’re hopeful that while guests are down here they’ll be enticed to visit and patronize the downtown restaurants and merchants,” said DDA Manager Tara Currier. “Our promotions committee has gone around to the various merchants and restaurants downtown collecting brochures and flyers, which we will be putting into bags for the Shrine club to give to car cruize participants to tell them about all the fabulous downtown shops, restaurants and service providers to hopefully help educate people coming downtown about what’s around them.”

Wilson hopes to have more than 200 cars on display this weekend, but has seen upwards of 800 cars at the organization’s annual Fourth of July show. Anyone interested in showing off their car can call Wilson at 770-527-9746 for more information.

If you go:

What: Tom Clayton Memorial Car Cruize

When: Saturday, April 6, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Where: Downtown Cartersville

Why: Proceeds benefit the outreach efforts of the Cartersville Shrine Club

More info: Randy Wilson, 770-527-9746