By Eric Swanson
The Ada News
Three years ago, members of Ada Main Street’s board of directors were painting the office one afternoon and chatting about the program’s past and future.
At one point, the other board members told Kevin Holland he needed to come up with a possible idea for a new event. Holland suggested reviving the tradition of cruising Main Street, just like he used to do when he was young.
The program’s director at the time and other board members liked Holland’s idea, and they put together Ada Main Street’s first Cruising Main event in just a few weeks.
Since he had proposed the event, Holland wanted to make sure people showed up for it. He called everybody he knew, including people in Sulphur, to invite them to bring their cars and cruise Main.
Holland’s calls paid off, as the first-ever Cruising Main event drew a larger-than-expected crowd.
“That night, I kid you not, it was probably the most crowded I’ve ever seen Main Street,” he said in a May 7 interview. “There were cars all the way backed up to Mississippi and all the way back to Oak Avenue, trying to get up and down Main Street. And it was literally packed with people.”
Just like that, an age-old tradition had taken on new life.
Ada residents can remember old times or create new memories with the fourth annual Cruising Main event, which will run from 7 to 10 p.m. June 27 in downtown Ada. The event is free and open to the public.
Most of the event will take place along Main Street, but part of Rennie Street will be blocked off for a classic-car display. Across the street, a booth for Coke floats may be set up in the area around Juliana Park.
Further down Main Street, the McSwain Theatre will be showing “Viva Las Vegas,” a 1964 musical starring Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret.
Downtown merchants may decide to stay open later that night or offer specials to customers who venture downtown for the event.
People who want a souvenir from Cruising Main can buy commemorative T-shirts, which will be sold in the days before the event and on June 17. The shirts will sell for no more than $15 apiece, and they will be available in youth as well as adult sizes.
The shirts have sold for around $10 apiece in the past, but the expense of making additional shirts in youth sizes may drive the cost up to $15, said program manager Amy Kaiser.
“I don’t ever want them to go over $15 where a family couldn’t buy more than one if they wanted to,” she said.
Proceeds from the T-shirt sales will go to Ada Main Street to help pay for future events.
Kaiser said organizers try to add a new attraction to Cruising Main each year, and they are working on some plans for this year’s event. Those plans have not been finalized yet, however.
For more information, call Kaiser at 436-1600 or check Ada Main Street’s Facebook page for updates.
Reach Eric Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.