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  • Writer's pictureSean Friel

Family fun at Cruisin’

Craig Corbit and his 1970 Chevelle SS 454 during Cruisin’ MainStreet on May 20. (THG/Sean Friel. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

HAMMONTON—On Friday May 20, MainStreet Hammonton held its annual Cruisin’ MainStreet event. Throughout downtown, rows of cars were lined up to be shown off and admired with events for kids and adults alike.

While walking downtown during the event, guests could look at unique or antique cars on downtown streets with many cars opening up the hood to reveal the engine.

Angela Donio, event chair, was one of the members of MainStreet Hammonton running the event along with volunteers from the Cruisin’ Classics Auto Club. She was set up in front of Reagan Rock for the event. There, the contests for the night were be held, as well as an emcee booth. Donio reflected on the event, and on the past years it was held.

“This is the 28th year … sometimes we had it twice. We started in 1994,” Donio told The Gazette.

Cruisin’ MainStreet Chair Angela Donio at the May 20 event. (THG/Sean Friel . To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

Cruisin’ has been held for nearly 30 years, with many cars coming and going during that time. Yet the event allows for the owners of classic and unique cars from all generations to meet and mingle.

Craig Corbit was the owner of a 1970 Chevelle SS 454, which he had purchased four years ago. Since then, Corbit had been adding some finishing touches to the vehicle, and parked it on the side of Bellevue Avenue.

The street was packed with cars, with little to no spots left. When asked what time Corbit arrived to get the spot, he smiled.

“Been here since 4 o’clock,” Corbit said.

The 1970 Chevelle was a bright red, with chrome lining the engine and front of the car. Corbit had a lawn chair set up to talk to people walking by that were admiring the vehicle.

Classic cars filled downtown Hammonton on May 20. (THG/Sean Friel . To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel and firefighters Tom Brown, John Warren and Jack Valerio were at the event, all crowded around the 1946 Hammonton Fire Company engine.

“That thing drives like when it was made. Shift is beautiful; stops, clutch is great. That’s like a new truck,” Valerio said about the fire engine.

The truck was in great shape, and looked brand new. For a truck more than 70 years old, the vehicle was in pristine condition.

Valerio then showed The Gazette his personal motorcycle, where he had placed his old badge onto the side of the vehicle. He started up the engine, and showed off the power of the vehicle. Valerio then laughed and posed for a picture.

The hula-hoop contest was enjoyed by many. (THG/Sean Friel . To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

The events at Cruisin’ Mainstreet featured a 1950s fashion contest, with a handful of people in costumes signed up for the event. The winners of the event were presented with an award given out by Donio.

The Hula Hoop contest had children and adults of all ages participating. The contest separated age groups, making it a fair competition for anyone participating. When the event finished, airheads were given out to the contestants, as well as a first place prize for the winner. Children, teens, and even adults all participated in the event, with a few exciting competitions between contestants.

The bubble gum bubble blowing contest was open to all ages. (THG/Sean Friel . To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

The final event of the night was the bubble gum blowing competition. The same age groups were encouraged to join in the competition, with separation into different age groups. The crowd laughed and giggled with the younger contestants, as trying to blow a bubble was a tremendous task. However, each contestant was given candy at the end of the competition for their efforts. The teens and adults in the competition were much more intense, with many gigantic bubbles popping in their faces.

At the end of the night, the classic and unique cars cruised along Bellevue Avenue, wrapping up the event in tremendous fashion. Cars of different colors, makes and models could be seen working their way downtown as the event ended.

For more photos from Cruisin' MainStreet, read the March 25, 2022 print or digital edition. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.


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