The planning committee for the annual Popeye Car Cruise has been busy with the upcoming "Cruisin' with Popeye" Car Cruise on Sept. 7, a highly anticipated part of this year's Popeye Picnic on Sept. 6-8.
The 2019 event is the ninth annual cruise and organizers are hopeful for better weather this year.
Last year a fairly major rainstorm created havoc for several events on Saturday of Popeye Picnic weekend and the car cruise was one.
Kenny Welge, one of the organizers of the event said people who have really nice classic cars are pretty protective of them.
"Last year with storms in the area, hardly anyone came to the 2018 cruise," he said. "It isn't very much fun taking a ride in the middle of a major storm. I really don't blame them because many of the cars that take part are really expensive."
In spite of the rain, those people that did come to Chester had a good time and event organizers were able to make a nice donation of $500 to the Chester Fire Department.
Fire Chief Marty Bert said, "The actual car cruise was basically canceled last year due to the weather, but the committee still made a nice donation to the Chester Fire Department which we used for equipment and fire prevention week activities. We are very thankful for that kind gesture.
The Cruisin' with Popeye Car Cruise Committee consists of Kenny Welge, Dan Geisen, Jim Green and Flacol Landeros. Welge said, "Vicky Geisen and Brenda Frazer also deal with many aspects of the cruise-day activities. We are really fortunate to have dedicated people who care about making the event a success."
This year's Popeye Picnic is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Sept. 6-8. The car cruise is on Saturday, Sept. 7.
The pre-event is 2 to 5 p.m. There is no preregistration required. Participants just need to show up at the Chester Cohen Recreation Complex, on Route 3, north of Chester, beginning at 2 p.m.
The actual car cruise will begin at 5:15 p.m. Following the cruise throughout the City of Chester, participants and fans are encouraged to attend the Car Cruise After-Party at Tequila's Mexican Restaurant. There will be food, drinks and music available throughout the evening.
All car cruise participants will receive a dash plate. Trophies will be presented to winners as well as attendance prizes. A DJ will provide music for the event and there will be a 50/50 drawing at 5 p.m., just prior to the start of the cruise, where a minimum of $1,000 will be given away.
Welge said, "We are currently working on creating the official 2019 "Cruisin' with Popeye Car Cruise" T-shirts. We hope to have them available for purchase by the first week of August or soon thereafter.
All makes and models of automobiles are welcome to participate in the car cruise event. Anyone with questions can call (618) 615-3333 or (618) 615-3144 for more information.