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Star City Cruise-In expected to bring tens of thousands to Williamson Road area

Friday marks the start of the Star City Motor Madness Weekend

ROANOKE, Va. – Tens of thousands of car lovers will be on Williamson Road this weekend as part of the 17th annual Star City Motor Madness.

It's one of the largest auto events in the mid-Atlantic region, and organizers say it's difficult to get an exact head count of just how many people attend, with cars passing through and spectators lined up along the road. Wendy Jones with the Williamson Road Area Business Association says she's expecting anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 people to attend.

The Friday night cruise-in will feature thousands of classic cars, trucks and motorcycles rolling up and down Williamson Road. Meanwhile, spectators will line the street in lawn chairs-- snacking on kettle corn and hot dogs while they enjoy watching the classic and special interest cars roll by.

Berglund's director of fixed operations, Don Fitzgerald, says as a major sponsor of the event, this is something Berglund looks forward to each summer.

"A lot of the people that come out to enjoy the cruise in are our customers, so this is kind of a celebration of them," says Fitzgerald. "We like to give back and what better way to do it than through the automobiles?"

For businesses along Williamson Road, this tends to be one of their busiest nights of the entire year. At the event's peak, it can take as long as 45 minutes to an hour to drive from one end of Williamson Road to the other.

For many, seeing the classic cars cruise by is a way to transport themselves back to a simpler time.

"We've got people that are coming out here to try to relive their past," says Jones. "We've got people out here trying to capture the past that their parents and grandparents have talked about, so we have a lot of fun with that."

"It's amazing to see thousands upon thousands of people that come out," says Fitzgerald. "They've got their lawn chairs, they're in different businesses just hanging out and celebrating the automobile with everybody else."

Jones wants to remind spectators that the businesses along Williamson Road are private businesses. She asks everyone to respect any businesses that have roped off their property and parking lot to keep people from entering. She says it's also important for everyone to clean up after themselves, throwing away their trash and making sure nothing is left behind.

The cruise-in runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information on Star City Motor Madness, click here.