MAIDENCREEK TWP., Pa. - Organizers have put the brakes on a popular cruise night in Berks County, leaving many people distraught.
"I'm in mourning," said Glen Carson, a regular attendee.
For almost a decade, the car show has been held every other Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. outside of CeGee's Drive-in in Maidencreek Township, bringing up to 200 people and classic cars. The event is free, and includes "oldies" music, a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and more.
"It's kind of a nostalgia night where everyone gets together… of course we're all into the classic cars and everyone has a good time," said attendee Doreen Rimby, who has been showcasing her classic Camaro since the event began. "We really enjoy ourselves and we were greatly disappointed when we found out this was going to be discontinued."
But CeGee's owner Chris Greth said he was left with no choice but to end the tradition, the result of complaints from the neighboring Dollar General store.
"I just don't think they want to work with the community or my patrons," said Greth, who claims the dispute revolves around parking.
Greth said the cruise night relies on a portion of Dollar General's lot, but managers there are allegedly complaining that the cruise attendees take up space and don't patronize the store.
"They tell me that it's not profitable for them to have this many people here," said Greth.
Workers inside the discount store had no comment.
Greth said he's tried tirelessly to accommodate the store's concerns, even arranging for his workers to keep spots open at the Dollar General.
"I would think they'd be happy just to have that many people around here," said Greth.
Attendees like Rimby agree, arguing that many enter the store during the cruise nights.
"A lot of people generally would not be coming to a Dollar General on a Saturday night, but hey, they're here, and they stop and get something," said Rimby.
Now, Rimby is organizing a petition and spreading the word via social media.
She, Carson and others told 69 News they still intend to bring their classic cars to the drive-in Sat., May 10, when the next cruise night would have occurred.
Dollar General officials did release the following statement to 69News:
"Dollar General is a strong community supporter in the towns we proudly serve across the country including our store in Blandon, Pa."
Due to the conditions of our lease and safety considerations, we are unable to provide our parking lot for any use outside of Dollar General business. We look forward to welcoming the Cruise Night patrons to shop in our store."
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