Engines ready to rev for inaugural Roan Mountain Cruise In series

Published 5:02 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A love of classic cars just comes natural for Larry and Wilma Tipton.

Looking to carry that passion to the entire Roan Mountain community, the Tiptons have worked with others in the community to offer the inaugural Roan Mountain Cruise In at the Roan Mountain Community Park.

The event, which gets underway this week, will take place every Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. from May until the end of October. Classic car owners can attend the event free of charge for a night and fellowship of fun. Music and other forms of entertainment will be available each Friday, along with refreshments and other concessions being available for purchase.

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All proceeds raised from the Cruise In will benefit the Roan Mountain Shriners Club, the sponsors of the event.

“We’ve been talking about this since last year,” Larry told the Elizabethton Star Tuesday. “We wanted to get a cruise in together in Roan Mountain to give people something to do. Erik Anderson has us on the schedule now until October. We’re excited about offering this to the public.”

Larry and Wilma visited the Elizabethton Star Tuesday and mentioned that the event will allow the Roan Mountain community to have an event on Fridays and double down as a way to help the Shriners.

“The Shriners usually have two car shows each year,” Larry said. “They bought a van to help transport kids, so we’re doing what we can to help. Any bit of money we’re able to raise during each Cruise In will go to the Shriners.”

Classic cars have been a passion for the Tiptons, who frequent the Saturday Cruise In held in downtown Elizabethton.

“My wife and I have always been into the classic cars. We always try to make it downtown,” Larry said with a smile.

The love started young for Mr. Tipton, who served the country in the United States Navy. A Vietnam War veteran, Larry recalled watching Pontiac GTOs drag racing. Following his service, he said he was ready to make his own purchase. To this day, the Tiptons have four GTOs, two from 1965 and two from 1967.

“When I returned home, I went down to the Pontiac dealership and bought a brand new ’67 Pontiac GTO,” he said while showing a plaque he received that highlighted the car.

Entertainment opportunities are also available for local musicians wanting to perform during the Cruise In. To learn more about the event or how to get involved, contact the Tiptons at (423) 725-4047.