Article and photos by Larry Crain
The scenic northeast corner of Georgia is the location of the small town of Hiawassee, which is home of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. The mountains and rolling hills was the perfect place to be at the end of July 2016 for the 8th Annual Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In. The event drew in over 500 vehicles from across the country and set a new record for spectator turnout during the 2016 show.
The lakeside Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds was a beautiful setting for all of the hot rods, customs, classics and muscle cars that registered for the show. But the fairgrounds were only part of this event; the winding highways through the stunning Georgia Mountains are made for cruising. On Thursday, the very first day of the event, there were not one, but two organized cruises with the first one having Grandaddy Mimms Moonshine as its destination. This first cruise stop was a very unique location with refreshments on hand for the cruisers and numerous shops to browse through.
The second cruise wound through the countryside to Murphy, North Carolina, home of Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel. There was a large, secured section of parking lot at the casino just for those that took part in the cruise, and with their vehicles parked, the participants headed inside to try their luck at the casino games.
Thursday’s activities wrapped up with an evening kickoff party at the Ridges Resort that allowed the participants to park along the Lake Chatuge shoreline or up on the shaded part of the grounds. Live entertainment for the evening’s festivities was by the Tom Floyd Band. What a way to wrap up a first day for the event.
On Friday the fairgrounds opened up for participant parking and everyone drove in looking for their favorite type of spot, whether it was for sun or shade, there was plenty of parking. Once on the grounds, everyone had the opportunity to shop with crafters, stroll through the pioneer village, shop with automotive vendors, check out the swap meet area or look for a new cruiser in the car corral.
Friday’s activities on the fairgrounds wound down in the afternoon but there was an organized parade through Hiawassee to the downtown area where the old town square had live entertainment on hand. For the cruisers that still felt like driving, there was more entertainment at the Lake Chatuge Lodge where there was food and music by Steven Phillips and the Midnight Express band.
Saturday, the last day of the event, saw a huge turnout of spectators and participants enjoying the day on the fairgrounds. The day passed quickly and in the afternoon all of the participants started gathering around the announcement booth to see who were going to take home an award. This show does not give out a lot of awards but prefers to give away cash in drawings, and you won’t hear many complaints about that. Before moving on to the cash drawings there were some extremely nice high dollar door prizes given out that included intake manifolds, carburetors and much more. The first cash drawing that totaled $1,500 went to those that had preregistered, a $500 winner, two $250 winners and then five $100 winners. Then there was the even bigger cash drawing that totaled $4,000 that was given out in different increments of anywhere from $100 to $500! What a way to wrap up the 2016 8th Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In thanks Flip Flop Promotions.
For more information on the 9th Annual Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In being held July 13-15, 2017, call 662-587-9572, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.gammoonshinecruizin.com or the Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In’s Facebook page.