Submitted by Jennifer McLucas
The Goss Agency
When fall leaves blanket the hills in warm hues of red, orange and gold, classic-car enthusiasts know it’s time to cruise on into Cherokee. The 10th annual Cruise the Smokies Cherokee Fall Rod Run hits the road Oct. 30-Nov. 1 for a breathtaking drive through the world’s oldest mountain range. Thousands of car enthusiasts from across the Southeast descend on Cherokee to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and compete for hot rod bragging rights. This year the competition heats up as Cherokee unveils its brand new best-in-show trophy.
More than 500 classic and customized automobiles from pre-1972 bucket Ts to ’32 Fords are expected to participate in this year’s family-friendly Rod Run, made possible by Harrah’s Casino and Hotel and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Vehicle registration, which includes admission, is $40 at the gate. All registered vehicles are eligible to compete for cash and prizes. The best-in-show trophy is a commissioned work of hot rod art from one of Cherokee’s most renowned artists, and it will become one of the most sought-after trophies on the Rod Run circuit. Interested car enthusiasts may download the vehicle registration form at www.cherokee-nc.com/rodrun.
Beautiful mountain backdrops set the stage for live entertainment nightly, including headliner Little Anthony and the Imperials. The first 200 vehicle registrants will receive a free ticket to the Little Anthony concert. Additional concert tickets may be purchased at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel. The event runs each day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and daily admission is $10. More information is available online or at the Cherokee Welcome Center at (800) 438-1601.