Highway 52 Cruise makes stops through southern WV

August 29, 2018

The inaugural 2018 Highway 52 Cruise is set for Saturday, Oct. 20. It will begin in Kenova, stopping at Williamson for lunch at the Tunnel Drive-Inn and making a stop in Gilbert for dessert. It will also stop at Welch and end up in Princeton.

The inaugural 2018 Highway 52 Cruise is slated for Saturday, Oct. 20.

“We’ll be starting in Kenova at 9:30 a.m. and stopping at Williamson for lunch at the historic Tunnel Drive-Inn and then make a stop in Gilbert for dessert,” said organizer Mark Maynard. “From there, the cruise will follow old U.S. 52 and make a stop on McDowell Street in Welch, with a stop in historic Bramwell, then arriving at the final destination of Mercer Street in Princeton at their ‘Cool Cruisin’ Nights’ event. This is an actual cruise event where participants gather to cruise classic cars on Mercer Street, which was an impromptu cruise destination for youth of years gone by.”

Maynard said the has brought cruising back to Mercer Street.

“When I first attended in 2015, I couldn’t believe the fun and nostalgic feel. It seemed like it was right out of the movie ‘American Graffiti,’” Maynard said. “I’ve often thought this event needs exposure. I came up with the idea for the Highway 52 Cruise to actually lead classic cars to this great event and get to experience the sometimes-underrated beauty of the coal boom towns along 52 during a hopefully colorful fall foliage time of the year.”

He said the Iron City Antique Automobile Club organized and arranged a Route 23 Cruise, which is just across the Ohio River, years ago.

“It went from Ashland to Whitesburg in one day and had stops along the way. It was the pattern I used to develop this format,” he said.

Maynard said he thanks many who have helped along the way, including convention and visitors bureaus, mayors, car enthusiasts and volunteers in several southern West Virginia towns.

“If this event compares to the great job Iron City Antique did years ago, it will be a big success,” Maynard said.

A perk of the event is that there is no entry fee. The first 25 to register get windshield banners, a long decal that goes across the top of the windshield. Long haul wall plaques will be awarded to those who make the entire journey from Kenova to Princeton.

To join in on the trip, text 304-360-6272 or email may-nardsautoworld@gmail.com for more information. Be sure to specify which event you will attend.


Saturday, Oct. 20

9:30 a.m.: Depart Kenova’s Advance Auto Parts

11 a.m.: Arrive at Williamson’s Tunnel Drive-In for lunch

12:30 p.m.: Depart

1:15 p.m.: Arrive in Gilbert at the Harless Center

2 p.m.: Depart

2:45 p.m.: Arrive in Welch and line up on McDowell Street

3:30 p.m.: Depart

4:15 p.m.: Arrive in Bramwell

4:45 p.m.: Depart

5:30 p.m.: Arrive in Princeton for “Cool Cruisin’ Nights” on Mercer Street

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