Blacksburg hosts first-ever “Cruise-In,” gathers food for kids


BLACKSBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – One week after folks cruised in Gaffney and were told it’s not allowed, a similar event sparked up next door in Blacksburg.

This time, many more people participated and it was for a good cause.

“By far, that was the largest crowd I’ve ever seen in town,” Blacksburg Mayor Mike Patterson said.

Patterson has been working at his family’s auto repair shop for as long as he can remember. He’s seen a lot of cars in his hometown, but never as many as he did on Sunday night, as the Town of Blacksburg held its first-ever “Cruise-In.”

“There were all makes, all kinds, from Corvettes to Camaros, from golf carts to big trucks,” Patterson said.

The event was planned after their neighbors in Gaffney were told they weren’t allowed to cruise.

“There was no drama and there weren’t any negative issues. It was just a great, great time,” Blacksburg resident Jenny Stroupe said.

“Right now, with the economy and what’s happening everywhere, we finally had one chance at fun in 2020,” Patterson said.

The mayor told 7 News many people from Gaffney were in attendance Sunday night, along with at least a thousand others.

“I had an elderly lady who stopped in at my shop this morning and told me that was the most fun she had had in 25 years,” Patterson said. “It almost brings tears to your eyes.”

And the mayor wasn’t the only one moved by the event.

“It was just amazement, thankfulness, and pride for our community,” Robin Woodward said.

Robin Woodward and other volunteers with Blacksburg’s Backpack Buddy Ministries used the cruising event as an opportunity to gather donations for hungry kids in the community.

“If we weren’t preparing bags, they would be going days without food,” Woodward said.

Woodward told 7 News the cruise was successful in more ways than one as they gathered the most food they’ve ever gotten for the more than 200 children they feed every week.

“It was a chance to show the world that Blacksburg has a heart,” she said.

They’re hoping more cruises will be planned in the future so they can continue to supply snacks for the kids who need them.

“We would love to do this, maybe every other weekend. Maybe alternate with our county folks, with Gaffney, and, hopefully, they will see the light at the end of this tunnel,” Jenny Stroupe said. “It could be something that people put on their calendars and look forward to every week.”

Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham told 7 News everything went off without a hitch Sunday night and they had no calls for service.

Mayor Patterson said they’re already discussing when they’ll have their next cruise.

If you’d like to donate to the Blacksburg Backpack Buddy Ministries, you can mail those donations to Broad River Baptist Church. That address is 419 W. Cherokee Street, Blacksburg, SC 29702.

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