Whether you prefer blue suede or saddle oxfords, jive or swing, an air of nostalgia and fun will rock the Hope town Square this weekend as First Friday’s Cruise-In to Hope returns at 5 p.m. this Friday with a twist… quite literally.

Car and truck enthusiasts will begin gathering on the Square with their vintage and one-of-a-kind machines around 4:30 p.m., says Matt Lee, executive director of Main Street of Hope. Those who wish to do so can peruse the classic horse-powered chariots and chat with the owners beginning at 5 p.m.

The1950s-themed free event will be set to a soundtrack of the best rock-and-roll from that era offered by Hope native and DJ Mike Asher, co-owner of Midnight Express Entertainment.

A photo booth, also offered by Asher and Midnight Express, will be set up on the Square for those who want to capture a moment from the evening with friends and family.

Whether they jitterbug, swing, twist or do the boogie-woogie, those who would like to show off their dance moves are welcome to enter the evening’s dance contest, which is planned for around the 6 p.m. hour, says the event’s organizers.

Hope Town Manager Frank Owens says he has heard some rumblings about the dance competition, but says his role won’t be as a contender.

“There was some mention they may want me to judge or something,” he says. “If that is the case, absolutely, I will be there.”
Leading the dance competition at the shelter house will be Main Street of Hope board member Jessica Brown.

“We are going to have a twist contest,” she says. “So, practice your twist.”
Prizes for best child and adult dancers respectively will be offered in gift certificates from local businesses, Brown adds.

“There’s also going to be a costume contest,” Brown says. “So if you want to wear your saddle oxfords that would be great.”
Brown, who plans to be accompanied that evening by her granddaughter, says she herself will be breaking tradition.

“I’ve got a poodle skirt that has a cat on it,” she says. “I also have my saddle oxfords.”

Hope’s Yellow Trail Museum will be set up that evening on the Square as well and they will be offering ice cream floats with all proceeds going to benefit the museum, Brown adds.

For those with a sporty competitive spirit, The Columbus Icemen hockey team will be set up at the event as well, Lee adds.

“They will be doing something where you shoot a hockey puck and if you make the puck you get a free ice cream cone,” Lee says. “It is going to be pretty neat.”