All welcome at Newcomerstown Cruise-In Oct. 3

All welcome at Newcomerstown Cruise-In Oct. 3

Getting families back outside is one of the goals in having the cruise-ins.


Having fun and raising morale is the goal of a cruise-in to be held Oct. 3 in Newcomerstown from 2-6 p.m. at site of the former Heller/Simonds file company at 641 Heller Drive.

“The reason I got interested in doing the cruise-ins is because everything is not normal with all this COVID stuff; everybody’s morale is down,” Josh Beall of Newcomerstown said. “I hated to see everybody being down in the dumps.”

Beall has lived his whole life in the village and wanted to help his neighbors. “I’m just trying to keep the community going because this is a small community and there’s not a whole lot going on. Everybody seemed to enjoy the cars and trucks driving around town,” he said.

A cruise-in at the Boulevard in Dover earlier this spring inspired Beall to plan the Newcomerstown event.

“We drove through the cruise-in on the Boulevard, and there’s all these cars parked along the street. Everybody was waving; it was awesome,” Beall said, adding the event took him back to his high school days, which were 16 years ago.

Getting families back outside is one of Beall’s goals in having the cruise-ins. “Sixteen years is not a long time, but when you think back, so much has changed. You don’t see kids out riding their bikes anymore, and you don’t see kids playing in the creek,” he said.

With having people get together at cruise-ins, it brings back an activity people remember from their childhoods. “It’s a lot of fun watching the older guys — and I’m included in that — go around town, rev their engines, and everybody is excited about it,” Beall said.

Beall is the owner of a 1938 rat rod that he built himself. “I like rat rods and muscle cars,” he said. “Anything that’s loud and goes fast are the ones I like.”

Despite there being rain in the forecast, Beall was pleased with the turnout of the first Newcomerstown Cruise-in that was held last month on Aug. 15.

“I was surprised that as many cars as we had showed up; it was great actually. We had people come from two and a half hours away. They drove through the rain and stuck it out the whole entire day. That was awesome. It was the greatest feeling ever,” Beall said.

Throughout the day about 100 vehicles participated in the August event.

Beall has put much work into cleaning up the parking lot of the former Heller/Simonds property, which is now owned by the Village of Newcomerstown.

“I worked so hard there, cleaning the parking lot up. The factory had been abandoned, and nobody has done anything with it. I literally took people’s equipment and my work’s equipment and went down there, mowed the grass, weed-eated, trimmed trees and scraped the parking lot,” Beall said.

The mayor of Newcomerstown, Pat Cadle, approved of holding the cruise-ins. “He told me that I can continue having events there, and so the cool part is as much work as I put into it, I can actually get back from it,” Beall said.

The August event had featured a barbecue chicken dinner, prepared by April’s Country Kitchen. Beall’s daughters held a lemonade stand, and they had a 50/50 drawing, which raised approximately $300 for Toys for Tots.

After the August event, the cars lined up and cruised the streets of Newcomerstown. “I know Newcomerstown is not very big, but people had their phones and video cameras out taking pictures,” Beall said.

The August event proved to be popular and received much positive feedback. “Everybody that I’ve talked to in the community including the mayor thought it was a great idea and that everybody was happy with it. Many people around town have told me that they thought it was awesome that I had everybody drive around town when we got done,” Beall said.

The Oct. 3 event will be a cruise-in with no prizes or food available. If people want to eat at a restaurant, April’s Country Kitchen is nearby. The October event is just for fun, and there will be no fee to participate.

The plan for next year is to have a cruise-in each month during the warmer months.

“I would like to just have people come in and park and enjoy talking to other people. If car clubs want to join, they can,” Beall said.

Beall hopes to have a disc jockey playing oldies music at the next event because it is appropriate entertainment for a cruise-in with many older vehicles in attendance, and everyone seemed to enjoy it at the August event.

All types of vehicles including cars, trucks and motorcycles are invited to the cruise-in held in October. Precautions including 6-foot social distancing will be observed at the outdoor event.

“We were going to do strictly a rat rod show. I have a lot of buddies with rat rods, but I want to include everybody,” Beall said. “The morale is so down around the world because of all this; it’s unbelievable. I just hope everyone shows up and has a good time.”

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