WEST JEFFERSON — Following up a spirited debate on the value of downtown car shows and cruise-ins, it appears that the Heritage Iron Club will get to keep two summer dates in 2017 for classic car cruise-ins.
The motion narrowly passed by a 3-2 vote. According to the meeting minutes, Stephen Shoemaker, John Reeves and Brett Summey voted in favor of the car shows.
The Heritage Iron Club will hold a cruise-in in downtown West Jefferson in June and another one in August. Last year, the club held three cruise-ins, however with the club already having their annual car show at Ashe County High School in July, the club decided to propose two summer cruise-ins
“We don’t want to be a nuisance to anybody. We just want to be a benefit to the town. We feel like we brought a lot of people to town,” said Eddie Black, the vice president of the club.
Shoemaker and Reeves were the two most outspoken advocates of having the car cruise-ins.
“I think the car show is just an absolute joy. I am in the car club, I’ll admit that, but I don’t know a finer bunch of gentlemen to enjoy camaraderie with. We’re proud of the cars and like to get them out and show them off once in awhile,” said Shoemaker.
Shoemaker acknowledged that there will always be complaints from someone about events in downtown that block off streets, but events such as the cruise-ins, Christmas in July and the antique fair bring a lot people to town that might not ordinarily come to downtown West Jefferson.
Reeves seconded Shoemaker’s motion for having two cruise-in dates, also echoing the sentiments that these cruise-in events bring people to the town and that is always a good thing.
According to alderman Calvin Green, several merchants along the street between town hall and Badger Funeral Home had shared their dismay with having the street closed and having these classic cars parking in front of their businesses.
“Being a merchant myself, you know if this (cruise-in) helped, I would be pushing it hard, but it absolutely kills you when you get anything blocked off,” Green said.
Car cruise-in dates will be announced later in year.
Other items of business
– Approval was given for annexing the area behind Boone Family Funeral Home, where the new Mount Jefferson Child Development Center will be located, into the town limits to provide water and sewer.
– Approval was given for the annual antique fair and Christmas in July to take place in downtown and for street closures to be allowed with these events.
– Approval was given for annexing three properties on Wade Vannoy Road into the town limits to provide water and sewer.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.