NEWTON — Cruisin’ 2019, one of the popular events of Newton’s annual Soldiers Reunion patriotic festival, will return to normal as the downtown area will not be under construction during Soldiers Reunion week.

The afternoon-into-evening event will be the normal car display followed by cruising on Sunday, Aug. 11, from 3-7 p.m.

As he described plans for Cruisin’ as the kickoff of the week-long 130th Soldiers Reunion, festival general chairman Wayne Dellinger reiterated that Cruisin’ 2019 will return to normal this year.

Dellinger explained that the display and cruising of well-loved classic vehicles is part of the festival’s honoring of the county’s men and women who have served the nation in wartime. “When young men and women from all over the country serve in the armed forces together and they chat; a good portion of their conversation is about cars and freedom,” Dellinger said.

Cruisin’ is part of a week-long program of activities of what started in the summer of 1889. The free-of-charge family-oriented activity is an anticipated part of the 2019 festival, when owners will display cherished classic autos and later cruise around Newton so they can be viewed by the several thousand spectators who flock to Courthouse Square.

Cruisin’ will center on The Square and downtown business district. Car owners and spectators are invited to assemble at 3 p.m. to view the many restored and original autos.

“The Soldiers Reunion committee is actively working on all of our events as well as getting sponsors and bands for the week when Catawba County pays tribute to our veterans of all wars,” Dellinger said.

Dellinger described how the county’s young people used to cruise the Court Square in a weekend ritual for several generations before Newton instituted one-way travel at The Square in 1971. “Cruise Night takes our younger generations back to that era and reminds many veterans of the fun they shared during their youth,” he said.

Dellinger said everyone involved with the planning of Reunion events has been astonished at the “wonderful turnout of people to Newton from towns across the Piedmont to take part in Cruisin and we are happy to see it return this year.”

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