Drivers in the 1950s and '60s cruised down the streets of America in '57 Chevys to Impalas to convertible Mustangs and more.

Today, these classic cars as well as trucks and motorcycles are parked at cruise-ins in Christian, Trigg and Todd counties. These cruise-ins offer a trip down memory lane for some and an introduction to automotive history for others.

Pennyrile Classic Car Club Cruise-In

Starting May 18, the Pennyrile Classic Car Club kicks off its annual cruise-in at Brenda's Snack Shack, 3141 Canton Pike.

"It's a love of old, classic cars," said Heather Meacham, of the car club. "That's what we were founded on."

This free, family event marks the second year at the Indian Hills Shopping Plaza and the 18th year for the club.

"Last year over here it was a big success for us. Brenda's Snack Shack -- the atmosphere, people love it. People come just for that and to show off their cars," Meacham said. "We've been here a year and we hope to make this year even better than last year."

Brenda's Snack Shack features a 50s- to 60s-themed décor, with a red and white interior, vinyl records hanging on the wall and Elvis Presley's tunes playing in the background.

"They really do go hand-in-hand with classic cars," she said. "You get the feeling … like you've really stepped back in time. It's really cool to experience."

Meacham said last summer the parking lot overflowed with people of all ages and vehicles, old and new.

"We've been doing it so long, we don't want it to stop," Meacham said. "If we stop doing it, it's going to go away. People will lose the appreciation for classic cars. We wanted to keep bringing something to the community."

Anyone showcasing their vehicles or just visiting the lot should bring lawn chairs and an appetite for classic-themed food, including hamburgers, fries and breakfast foods.

"We've got 24 flavors of delicious ice cream, first of all. We have sundaes, banana splits and floats of several different flavors," Hanson said. "It's a step back in time. The atmosphere alone is worth coming for. It's a lot of fun."

The cruise-ins are from 6 until 9 p.m. every third Saturday from May through October. Dates include June 15, July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 21 and Oct. 19.

Two dates, July 20 and Oct. 19, will feature themed events. Participants are encouraged to dress in 50s- and 60s-style clothing for the July 20 sock hop theme. Prizes for the best costumes will be awarded. A trunk-or-treat event will be Oct. 19. Participants also are encouraged to dress up in classic or Halloween costumes.

"You can bring your candy out and kids can trick-or-treat from the trunks. There's kids from everywhere," Meacham said.

To benefit the car club, 50-50 tickets will be sold for $1 each. The winner of half the pot will be drawn at 8:30 p.m. For more information, email heather19m@hotmail.com.

Meacham said the event has a kid-friendly atmosphere. Loud music, burnouts and alcohol are not permitted.

"Bring your lawn chair out. Sit and talk and walk around. That's what a lot of people do. That's what it's about," Meacham said.

"We just have a blast," Hanson said.

Cadiz Cruz-In

Gear up for tonight's Cadiz Cruz-In featuring live music by the Tim Lynch Band on the Renaissance Stage.

Starting at 5 p.m., classic cars, trucks and motorcycles will line downtown Cadiz, in an event sponsored by Cadiz Main Street and the Cadiz-Trigg County Tourist Commission. Activities include free cornhole, door prizes and cash prizes. The event will happen rain or shine. Participants should bring their own lawn chairs.

"It's almost like a small family," said Bill Stevens of the tourist commission. "These people who come to Cadiz, it's really a convenient place for participants who come from Murray and Benton and Christian County. It's a really easy drive."

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Cars will be judged on several criteria to possibly include the condition of their body, interior, engine, trunk and undercarriage. Free entry with dash plaques for first 75 to register. The registration table will be in front of Ronnie Clark Realty on Main Street. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place.

"We have people from everywhere," said Barbara Jones, a cruz-in organizer. "They want to show off their cars. That's why they come."

Stevens said each month anywhere from 10 to 110 cars may show up.

"The car enthusiasts love to for people to talk to them about their vehicles," Stevens said. "Car owners can give you histories and modifications that have been made to the different models throughout the years."

During the cruz-in, children may search for the car rock and turn it in at the registration table for a door prize.

Food will be available for purchase from D's BBQ, Cravings by Yo and The Pig's Tail Ice Cream Shop.

Cruz-ins will be the first Saturday of each month through September, Jones said. Remaining events are scheduled for June 1, July 6, Aug. 3 and Sept. 7. For more information, like the Cadiz Cruz-In Facebook page.

"If you like to look at automobiles, whether you are 7 or you are 77, this is the place you need to be the first Saturday of every month," she said.

Elkton Car Show

A tradition for 14 years, the Elkton Car Show is a relaxed atmosphere for the entire family.

The town square fills with vintage vehicles the fourth Saturday of every month through September. The next one is May 25.

The car show starts at 4 p.m. and continue "until you decide to leave," said Charlotte Myers, Todd County Welcome Center director.

"It's a gathering of old car enthusiasts," she said. "They meet on the square. They sit and talk with each other. It's just a fellowship-type thing."

Myers said people who come to the square can also enjoy a good meal during their visit. Among the hot spots is the L and R Soda Bar.

Pam Alder, L and R Soda Bar employee, said the restaurant offers car show participants a step back to the 1950s.

"The waitresses wear poodle skirts and behind the soda bar they wear the white shirts and the little bow ties," she said. "It's a nice atmosphere. We've got good food, of course. The music is the 50s era."

L and R is open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on cruise-in days.

"You can get your food and ice cream and then go back on the street and look at all the cars," she said. "We're convenient and fun."

For more information about the Elkton Car Show, call the Welcome Center at 270-265-7070.

Reach Michele Vowell at 270-887-3242 or mvowell@kentuckynewera.com.

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