Sun shines on customized cars, streetrods for Kulpmont Cruise

A Volkswagen Beetle pulls out of the lot at Holy Angels Church picnic area as other drivers await their turn to get in line for the Kulpmont Cruise on Sunday.

KULPMONT — Take a step outside and step back in time on Sunday to relive the sight of nostalgic cars.

The 18th Great Kulpmont Cruise opens with registration at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Angels picnic grounds, 855 Scott St. Motorcycles begin the Cruise at 2 p.m. with “Thunder in Kulpmont,” followed by the parade of cars.

“On Saturday night, we’re starting the weekend off with an oldies musical show outside at Mount Carmel Town Park, weather permitting,” said Joe Cesari, president of the Kulpmont Cruise Association, adding that Memory Lane will perform from 7 to 9 p.m.

On Sunday, DJ Bruce Bidding will provide music for the car cruise, playing songs from as far back as the 1950s to accompany the overall mood of the cruise.

“‘Thunder in Kulpmont’ will go through at two o’clock,” Cesari said. “We’re including all motorcycle groups. Oh my God, they bring their girlfriends, their wives. Last year, we had a club with all girls.”

The cars follow. Last year the cruise attracted 208 antiques, classics, muscle cars, import cars, custom cars and street rods, plus 70 motorcycles.

“These are cars and trucks that people are proud to show off,” said Al Riedel, a member of the Kulpmont Cruise Association who illustrates a design for the T-shirt every year. “Every participant, in my opinion, is an award winner.”

Dash plaques, certificates, flags and custom T-shirts will be available, as always. This year’s cruise had to be slightly modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Holy Angels Church provides parking space and used to provide concession stands, Cesari said, but due to CDC guidelines, the church decided it was best to omit the food this year.

All participants and spectators will be asked to wear masks when six feet or closer to one another, Riedel said. When driving, the masks will not be necessary.

“It’s a great event every year,” he said “But this year in particular, because we were closed up for months because of COVID-19, it’s a chance for people to get out and visit the community, you know. Stay on their porches and sidewalks with their masks on and enjoy the cars.”

The nonprofit Kulpmont Cruise Association supports youth recreation programs and playgrounds and helps local organizations in need.

“We support Little League ball clubs in the area,” Riedel said. “We support the team, helping with uniforms and their equipment. That’s the only reason we do it.”

“It brings back so many great memories for the older people that visit it,” Cesari said of the Car Cruise. “They reminisce. They say, ‘I remember when I rode in one of those’ or, ‘My dad had one.’ The smiles on their faces, that’s enough to satisfy anyone.”

The rain date for the Car Cruise is Aug. 23 at the Walmart parking lot along Route 61 in Coal Township.

Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email her at CindyOHerman@gmail.com.

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