By Kyla Hurt
Saturday, August 15 is the date of Jacksonville’s 24th annual Downtown Plaza Car Show and 6th annual Summer Cruise. The day of events previously hosted by the Heart of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Cruise Nite Association is “now being taken under the wing of the newly formed nonprofit, Morton Avenue Misfits,” says Joel Buchanan of the Morton Avenue Misfits.
The day will still run similarly to the past few years, says Buchanan. The event is just one of the many affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and was postponed this year, moving it to a summer event as opposed to the spring date of those previously held.
The car show will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. around the square at Main and State Streets in Downtown Jacksonville. All years and models of vehicles will be welcome and there will be 20 judged classes. First place awards are custom made, plus there is a custom made “ratty” award for the rat rod class. Registration is from 8 a.m. to noon and costs $15. There is no cost to attend. Entrants and spectators alike can enjoy live music by Geezer on the square, sponsored by Tom Winner. All proceeds from the car show go to local charities.
The cruise portion of the day runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on Morton Ave., with the route going from Main Street to Lincoln Avenue cross streets. Headquartered at Hardee’s on Morton Avenue, there will be radio broadcast of oldies music and participation is free. Morton Avenue Misfits does ask that everyone please obey all traffic laws.
Morton Avenue Misfits is a group of local car enthusiasts, many of whom have been involved in orchestrating various past car events and have a strong love of street rods, muscle cars, rat rods, classics and more. Buchanan has been heavily involved for some time, along with others. “This is my 14th year. Mike McKean has been involved five or six years now. Ryan Mason, another member, the last three or four, at least … Richard Lyons, he’s been involved even longer than me. He’s the reason I became involved in the first place,” Buchanan says.
Buchanan notes that the group is working hard to keep their Facebook page updated with class listings, pictures and other information on updates or the group itself.
Buchanan notes that the group is grateful for the support they’ve received from local businesses.