We weren’t ready for what we were about to encounter the year we decided to attend “Crusin the Coast” down on the Mississippi Coast for the first time. So we headed south toward Biloxi for the day, a place that is dear to us. We were married on Biloxi Beach in 2008, and we have frequent this area multiple times a year ever since. While we were driving down on this day, we would see random vintage cars heading in the same direction – South down Highway 49.
When we came over the I-110 bridge into Biloxi, we turned East on Beach Blvd, traffic had come to a complete stop. Wow! We had just entered “Mississippi’s Biggest Block Party!” We had never seen this many cars before. They were literally everywhere. Empty lots where houses once stood that Hurricane Katrina claimed in 2005, were turned into small self sufficient camp grounds. Automobiles from every era dating all the way back to the first Ford Model T, bouncing forward to the latest. American-made classics, custom roadsters, muscle cars, hot rods were lining the historic beachside Hwy 90. There’s just something about seeing so many unique cars, and car lovers, all together for one purpose. All day we would drive around, Adam began to point out different cars to me.
“Seeing all these cars brings back so many childhood memories. We owned a lot of cars while I was growing up. If we didn’t own one – I knew someone that did. But my favorite is still the series of muscle cars.” He stated.
As the sun began to set, it brought on a whole different atmosphere. “It’s time for them to strut their stuff on the Blvd!” Adam said. We grabbed our camping chairs and found a spot on the sidewalk. The night brings on the true meaning of cruisin’. Your senses are in for a real delight. Depending on how close you were; you could feel the vibration of the horsepower under the hood. And the smell. Some may consider it a sickening smell, while others find it a sweet aroma. Either way the smell comes from a special kind of rich fuel that is used for these high performance machines.
Crusin the Coast began in 1996 as a festival to celebrate classic cars, classic music and related events. Only 374 vehicles registered that first year. In 2012, over 6,000 vehicles were registered. Car enthusiasts from 41 states and 2 countries drive to the Mississippi Gulf Coast during this event to showcase their rides and to cruise the beautiful 35-mile stretch of beachside highway. For an entire week, rock n’ roll, drag races, sock hops, swap meets, headline entertainment, and FUN! This event has become the biggest special event in the state of Mississippi. For the local people, the week could be classified as Hell week. As one local put it, “It really sucks. Traffic is extremely slow and tourists don’t seem to know what courtesy means.” But the truth is, this week long event benefits over 6 different cities and their communities. For some of those communities, this week is one of their major resources for supporting themselves the remaining 51 weeks of the year. The Coliseum also opens its doors for business. The Vicari Auto Auction is the main attraction, alongside the swap meet. This is popular area for participants and general public alike that were looking for everything ranging from those