Engines roared and horns blared downtown Saturday as the Grove’s summer tradition of Rock, Roll ‘n’ Rumble continued this year to a robust turnout of onlookers.
Local radio station KNND and Coast Fork Kiwanis Club members invited car-loving individuals and families to set up along the route and enjoy the cruise of unique vehicles along South River Road and through the Historic Downtown District.
“The event was nothing short of an overwhelming success,” said KNND owner Cameron Reiten. “The level of participation in the event clearly shows how eager people are to once again get out and do things.”
Compared to last year’s turnout of about 180 vehicles, this year’s event attracted approximately 250 automobiles, Reiten said.
While some vehicles evoked a sense of nostalgia for a by-gone era, other more modern vehicles brought their own unique flavor with flag decorations, exposed engines or lift kits. Throughout the two-hour cruise, audience members cheered when engines growled or tires squealed while children scrambled for bits of candy thrown by some of the participants.
The event’s collectible T-shirt sales gave an indication as to excitement for the event this year.
“I was absolutely blown away when I found out that we sold all of our T-shirts and gave away just about everything we had for swag,” said Reiten. “I had no idea what to expect with COVID and the fact that we didn’t do as much advertising as we had in years past.”
Due to coronavirus concerns and restrictions, organizers expected a less enthusiastic turnout.
“We throttled back on the promotion because we wanted to keep our attendance mostly local to cut down on the possibility of anyone bringing more of the virus to Cottage Grove,” said Reiten. “Though we recognized the need to take precautions, we pushed hard to proceed with the event because we felt it was important to have something in our community to enjoy during the summer.”
Missing this year was the Show-N-Shine event because of challenges with enforcing the social distancing requirement of a six-foot separation between participants.
The night ended, however, with a string of classic surf tunes performed by local rock band The Men From S.U.R.F as attendees enjoyed outside wining and dining along Stacy’s Covered Bridge Restaurant.
Though social distancing requirements placed limits on attendance, tables were filled and the dance floor catered to a few who couldn’t resist a boogie as the night ended.
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