Eastpointe cruise prepares for sock hop fundraiser

Cruise plans continue to solidify

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 16, 2015

EASTPOINTE — Eastpointe’s Cruisin’ Gratiot organizers are planning a unique way to raise funds for the cruise event: an old-fashioned sock hop.

Scheduled for May 13 at the Eastpointe Manor, the sock hop effectively replaces the dinner dance that was held last year, according to Cruise Chairman Harvey Curley.

“Someone on our board said, ‘Why don’t we have a sock hop instead of a dinner dance, because it is recognizing the ’50s and ’60s with classic cars,’” Curley said. “Dinner dance sounds so formal, but sock hops — everyone knows they can come with a T-shirt with cigarettes rolled up in their sleeve and jeans that are curled up.”

Mayor Suzanne Pixley said DJ Rockin’ Ronnie would be providing the music for the event, adding that despite his retirement, he has continued to do events for the cruise. She said he would be playing songs from the 1950s-1970s as part of the sock hop.

Curley said he believed that the more informal nature of a sock hop would lead to people hitting the dance floor, taking off their shoes and cutting loose.

The event will include a dance competition and a costume contest to determine who has the best costumes of Fonzie from “Happy Days” and the title characters from “Laverne & Shirley,” Pixley said.

Dinner will be served along with the dance, Curley said. Attendees can have pasta, salad, dessert, soft drinks and access to a cash bar. There will be a bucket auction, in which attendees buy tickets that they can put in the buckets of whatever prizes they’re interested in winning. The more tickets they put into a bucket, the greater their odds of winning it.

Curley said he hoped to see in excess of 200 people, and Pixley noted that the more people who come, the better.

“The hall is big, and the more tickets we sell, the more we can expand (the cruise events),” Pixley said. “And everyone knows the (Eastpointe Manor) has great food.”

Tickets cost $20 per person and can be purchased in advance at Clovers Collision and Mechanical Repair, 17285 Stephens Road, or through the cruise organizers at (586) 552-1366.

Work on the cruise itself is progressing, Pixley said. This year’s event — scheduled for June 20 — will see the return of the Tecumseh Trolley, as well as a VIP parade, which will include officials from the city and schools.

“The (other) cars we use in the parade are all people who registered and participated in the car shows held over the week,” Pixley said.

Additionally, the cruise will see its typical weeklong lead-up, with car shows throughout the city from June 16 to the cruise June 20. Anyone who registers a car for one of the shows will be added to a $1,000 cash prize drawing.

As in previous years, the cruise will have a dedicated cruise lane and will allow people to view the event from the median. Even though Roseville has set June 20 for its own cruise and Rosefest event, Curley said he was confident that it would not impact Eastpointe’s event.

“We don’t anticipate any problems having it on the same day,” Curley said. “We’re going full steam ahead, adding more and more each year with what we do and what we offer people. I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t have 150,000 people there.”