City of East Ridge Cancels Annual Car Show Due to Covid-19 Restrictions
The Chattanooga Cruise In, one of the largest free-to-the-public car shows in the Southeast, has been cancelled by the venue and city due to concerns, regarding the expected crowds. The event was planned for Friday, March 26th and Saturday, March 27th, 2021, but unfortunately will not be allowed to take place as scheduled.
The Chattanooga Cruise In was developed in 2011 by the Coker Tire Company as a way of giving back to the local car community with an open house and a free car show, held on the streets surrounding the company’s historic building in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since then, the event outgrew its original venue and moved to Camp Jordan for the 2019 event. The turnout was bigger than ever, and gave both Coker Tire and venue staff ideas for event improvement in the coming years. Unfortunately, the Chattanooga Cruise In was cancelled in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is once again cancelled, due to concerns of overcrowding from both the Camp Jordan venue and city of East Ridge.
Chattanooga Cruise In Event Chairman, Tommy Lee Byrd said, “To say this news comes as a great disappointment for everyone at Coker Tire is an understatement.” He continued, “We planned for the 2021 event to be bigger and better and include a new two-day platform with additional activities for participants and spectators. We worked closely with Camp Jordan and the City of East Ridge to develop a new traffic and parking plan, and the folks at Camp Jordan worked hard to accommodate our event with additional parking resources. It’s upsetting to see our big plans for improvement get pushed out another year, but we had no options to proceed.”
Given the congestion of the event during peak hours and the fact that it often draws participants from 10 or more states, the safety and well-being of participants became an area of consternation. With an expected turnout of over 2,500-plus participants and more than 15,000 spectators, the city had concerns that mandated protocols, such as temperature checking and social distancing, especially for the indoor activities, could not be implemented.
With the safety of local citizens in mind, Camp Jordan has modified its schedule for other springtime events as well, including moving the East Ridge Centennial Celebration from April to September. Unfortunately, there were no available dates to reschedule the Chattanooga Cruise In for later in the year. Stay tuned to Coker Tire’s website, www.cokertire.com, and Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cokertireco for updates on the dates of the 2022 Chattanooga Cruise In.