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Plans finalized for Cruisin’ for a Cause

With a week left before the much-anticipated and first-ever Cruisin’ for a Cause event to benefit the Park Hills Senior Center in downtown Park Hills, event organizers are making the final preparations for a day of festivities culminating in old school cruising on West Main Street.

With it being the first year, organizer and Senior Center Director Holly Buxton said participation is already exceeding expectations.

“We have 55 vendors signed up,” Buxton said. “I thought since this was our first year we’d be lucky to get even 15. That includes food vendors, informational booths, crafts, direct sales — and they are going to be open to the public at 10 a.m. We told them all that they could break down at 4 p.m. or they could stay until the end of the event.”

The event is scheduled for Sept. 15 and will last all day, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with a jam-packed schedule of activities throughout the day that will include something for everybody.

A dog show will start the days’ activities off at 10 a.m. at the event’s mainstage in the newer Country Mart parking lot. The dog show will include prizes for most handsome boy, prettiest girl, waggiest tail, cutest puppy, best trick and best owner and dog lookalike combo. The show is sponsored by PawFection Pet Grooming in downtown Park Hills.

In the parking lot of the Park Hills Public Library, a kids’ area will be found complete with inflatable bounce house, face painting, games and snacks from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At 11:30 a.m., the mainstage will be the site of the Little Miss and Mister Cruising Pageant, with a talent show following at 1 p.m. The talent show is sponsored by Associate Circuit Judge Division 4 candidate Pat King, with the winner taking home a prize of $100. Registration for the talent show and Little Miss and Mister has now closed.

A dine-in meal will be available at the Park Hills Senior Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with pulled pork nachos, Hawaiian sliders and kielbasa sausage.

Registration for the event’s car show, sponsored by Marler’s Towing, will begin at noon at the old Country Mart parking lot, with the show beginning at 1 p.m.

A beard and mustache contest sponsored by Ole Pimp Daddy Beard Company will be held at the mainstage from 2 to 4 p.m.

Prizes for the Backyard BBQ Pit Boss Competition, hosted by the Park Hills-Leadington Chamber of Commerce will be awarded at 3 p.m., in the categories of chicken, pork steak and an overall pit boss prize. Registration for the Backyard BBQ Pit Boss Competition has been extended to Tuesday. For rules and guidelines for the competition, visit www.phlcoc.net.

Music will be provided on the mainstage from 4 to 8 p.m., with the much-anticipated cruising beginning at 6 p.m. A beer garden will also be open for business, sponsored by the Old Mine House Bar and Grill. Volunteers from the Park Hills Senior Center will be at the intersection of Coffman and West Main Streets to collect donations from cruisers.

“We’re up to about 255 meals a day that go out of here,” Buxton said. “We serve the Desloge, Leadington, Leadwood and Park Hills area, and we have a waiting list. I need more drivers and more food money coming in to get those people added.

“We want everybody to come out and have a good time, but we also want them to remember that we have seniors that are in need. I always like to say that there are things in life that you can do without, but people have to eat. What we’re doing is to help them get a hot, nutritious meal.”

Buxton said she hopes the day’s activities and the evening’s cruising will hearken back to a simpler time, when the downtown Park Hills area was a regular meeting place for the area’s youth.

“I’ve had a lot of young people say, ‘What’s cruising?’ And I’m like, ‘Are you crazy?’ It’s going to be a fun day and evening. I have a lot of people who are going to cruise and then put their lawn chairs out and just watch everyone else cruise.”

Despite the months of planning and the positive community feedback so far, Buxton said the fundraiser is now in the hands of the community.

“I’m very excited, but it’s out of our hands now,” she said. “We’ve got things lined out and we think we have a good variety for everybody to have something to do, but now it’s in the public’s hands to come out and support.

“We could have gotten 155 vendors, but if the public doesn’t come out, it won’t be a success. We’re hoping that everybody brings their friends and relatives, and we do have people coming from out of state. We’re hoping that this is something that makes people feel good because of having a really good day, but also because they helped somebody — and that always makes you feel good.”

For more information about Cruisin’ for a Cause, contact the Park Hills Senior Center at 573-431-4974.

The first-ever Cruisin' for a Cause event to benefit the Park Hills Senior Center is scheduled for Sept. 15.

The first-ever Cruisin’ for a Cause event to benefit the Park Hills Senior Center is scheduled for Sept. 15.

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at jscott@dailyjournalonline.com.

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