Salem hails success of Super Cruise

SALEM — The 14th annual Salem Super Cruise, held June 7-10, was loaded with “positives” and Safety Service Director Ken Kenst credited the “exceptional planning” on the part of the Mahoning County Corvettes and the city.

The four-day event was organized by the Mahoning Valley Corvettes and Youngstown’s WFMJ television sponsored the event that benefited the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.

“We knew it was going to be bigger,” Kenst said to about 15 guests attending a debriefing meeting on Wednesday in city hall.

He explained the autocross, lawn and garden tractor pull were a success while the event pulled in “probably double the amount of show cars, whether it was in lots or cruising” as in previous Super Cruises.

He also lauded the “great variety” of vehicles at the event.

Kenst didn’t have the exact figures but city expenses will be covered and earlier the MVC donated $2,000 to the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.

Kenst said there is more money going into the city’s special event fund than from last year’s event.

Carl Roeger, who organizes the Super Cruise autocross, said they will donate $521 to the Banquet in Salem.

Mayor John Berlin thanked and credited Judy and Sam Sicilia for their organizational skills and commended them for their “calm demeanor” throughout the event and planning.

Kenst set the dates for the 15th Salem Super Cruise for June 6-9, 2019.

William Dawes, president of the Downtown Salem Partnership, said they “loved the cruise,” noting some people said there were “monumental days for foot traffic,” adding the level of organization this year was “better than before.”

He said an after-cruise survey showed the downtown area would like to be more involved in the planning and Sara Baer, chairwoman for the Salem Second Saturday, agreed saying, “A lot of downtown retailers didn’t feel they were as involved as they would like to be … if we can be of benefit we would like to.”

Sicilia said one of things they understood was there is a lot of “tweaking” they can do for next year, and Dawes said the only negative feedback he received was regarding parking in the historical downtown district.

Kenst said it was likely the Liberty municipal lot, which was reserved for cruise cars, was closed too long before opening it to the public. He suggested making a donation to the Kiwanis, for example, or other groups as an incentive to help out with parking.

Dawes said the parking situation was “easily solvable” adding “the hope is it gets bigger and bigger.”

Comments regarding the MVC’s involvement were noted and Sicilia said the level of acceptance of sponsor and attractions was “very good,” adding, “it takes good people to make an event like this.”

Tom Doyle of the Second Harvest Food Bank said they enjoyed participating and thanked everybody “for the way they embraced everything … hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to be involved again.”

A couple members of the MVC were interested in the autocross which Roeger said had 25 cars entered.

He said there were a number of first timers and “some greatly improved from their first to last lap times.”

He explained each vehicle made 11 runs, adding that at most autocross events, entrants might get six runs each at most.

Sicilia said, “I think next year, by the sound of it, the autocross is going to be much bigger.”

He said, “We’ll tweak it and make it better.”