Dave Niley joined a small group of fellow Chevrolet enthusiasts to help with the formation of a Greenville Cruise-In featuring 55, 56, and 57 Chevys about 21 years ago. Although the event, held the first Saturday in September after Labor Day, has been held on Broadway for years, the first three years the Cruise-In was held at the old Colony Restaurant. According to Dave, the first year featured 200 cars and was considered a success. 600 cars were entered in 2009 and more are expected this year.
The group/club that exists primarily to conduct the FIFTIES CRUISE-IN currently has 18 members but would welcome additional members that are interested in working to make this and the other two cruise-ins conducted over the year a success. The expressed reason for these events is a love of the vintage Chevys coupled with a love of their home town — Greenville. As a footnote, Mrs. Niley, Karen, is the proud owner of a 57 Chevy Indian Ivory & Blue convertible. This is considered a rare and treasured vehicle that Dave said, “I would like to have that car but Karen will not sell”.
The Cruise-Ins are a not for profit effort that attempts to break even by charging a small entrance fee for the competitors. The fee pays for the prizes, gifts and entertainments. Dave mentioned that last year people attended the event from all the adjacent states besides all regions of Ohio. Dave said that a group of over ten thousand was estimated to be on Broadway when the greatest numbers of people were present. Last years’ attendance estimate was between eight and ten thousand people. Based on the available area on Broadway and the side streets less the area set aside for the cars, there is room for about ten thousand people but remember people are coming and going at all times. The Niley estimate is very reasonable.
All the money received is used to conduct the Cruise-Ins and to maintain the club with all the excess contributed to local charities. The Club would welcome help from business sponsors. There are door prizes and contests for the kids and even adults.
The objective of this event is to show off the Chevys, any other vintage cars and the positive features of Greenville — such as the Broadway façade and the warmth of Greenville folks. This has proven to be a successful formula for the last 21 years. The positive attitude displayed by Dave and Karen Niley should help the CRUISE-IN continue to be a success. See all of you there.