Love of family, cars collide at CTC 2017

Published 6:54 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Family and friends mean everything to me and I got the opportunity to enjoy both this past week.

For the past several years, my family and close friends have enjoyed the first week of October together on the Mississippi Gulf Coast participating in what is known as Cruisin the Coast.

In its 21st year, Cruisin the Coast is considered the nation’s “largest block party” and bills itself as such. The weeklong event has steadily grown since its inception in 1996 with more than 8,000 classic cars and trucks registered this year and a few thousand more that just show up to enjoy the party.

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Thousands of cars and people cruise Highway 90 along the beach of Mississippi from Bay St. Louis to Pascagoula, while thousands of spectators line what the locals call “Beach Boulevard” to view the classic vehicles.

CTC has become a big part of our family.

My brother has a pair of classic cars. His choice has been the Ford Falcon. He drove one in high school and when the opportunity to purchase one and restore a Falcon came up, he couldn’t pass on the opportunity. For more than a decade he has had a 1963 Sprint Falcon convertible he modified and has done very well in car shows. In the last couple of years he added a 1962 Falcon station wagon that is nearly all original.

He and my youngest nephew, along with my dad, restored a 1967 Mustang coupe that was saved from being a drag racing car.

My oldest nephew is one of just three paid employees who help organize CTC each year. Volunteers do a lot of the work during the week of CTC.

My dad also restored and drives a 1964 Ford Ranchero, which is from the Falcon family. He owned a Ranchero when I was a kid and loves what the grandkids call the “car truck.”

Over the years, my dad and brother have been a part of the Ford Falcon Club and many of those members have been attending CTC for several years. A lot of the Falcon Club members come from all parts of the United States and have become more like family than just club members who have a common interest in the Ford Falcon and “cool” cars. Several come from Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma and pass through Vicksburg on their way to and from the Mississippi Coast.

During CTC, they “flock” together to the various venues that are set up in Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport, Biloxi, D’Iberville, Ocean Springs and Pascagoula. There have been times over the years where as many as 30 Falcons could be found cruising Beach Boulevard and up to 60 or more folks sitting down together for lunch or an evening meal in a Coast restaurant.

The threat of Hurricane Nate cut this year’s event a few days short, but that didn’t keep folks from having a good time cruising and fellowshipping during the week.

I’m already looking forward to CTC 2018.

Rob Sigler is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at