Cabin fever. Cars needing exercise. Damn the torpedoes! Let’s go for a drive!
Without their first of the month cruise-in, groups of enthusiasts in Beattyville, Kentucky and Eagle, Idaho have developed an alternative: driving car shows.
“Every first of the month we usually have a cruise in where classic cars come to main street and park and there are music and vendors and there are crafts and farmers,” said Dedra Brandenburg, Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Director.
But due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut most activity down, they essentially have turned the show into a “socially distanced” parade. The cars followed social distancing guidelines, following six feet apart.
“This year instead (of the usual gathering), the idea was to get people in their classic cars and do a route around the community,” Brandenburg added. “We had about 20 we were very happy about the turnout.”
The small community looked out window and came out on porches to view the parade as it snaked around residential areas.
“It gave the people a chance to get their cars out and to keep the social distance and go out through the community and we got to see a lot of people on the road,” said Scott Jackson, Mayor of Beattyville who led the parade in a Dodge Metro with sirens blaring.
Brandenburg chuckled. “It’s a small town, so people always look out their windows when they hear a siren.”
On the western side of the states, Bootleggers Idaho Street Outlaws payed tribute to St. Luke’s hospital workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like all others, the pandemic led to the cancelation of the club’s spring event. The parade’s intention was to show gratitude to doctors, nurses and other essential staff at the local hospital. More than 100 hot rods, vintage and collector cars drove past the medical center. Several nurses came out to watch the parade. Numerous cars were clad with signs saying “thanks” to medical staff for their hard work.
“We have our silent heroes in the community that spend endless hours taking care of us, making sure we are safe, staying away from their families and working during the epidemic,” said Tom Davis who organized the event.
“We felt the need to show our appreciation to them, to let them know how much we care about them and how much we appreciate them. They deserve all the credit; they are the ones who are keeping us safe.”