For just the cost of a tank of gas, thousands of people had the chance to do some classic car watching, renew old friendships and socialize Saturday night during the seventh annual Scoop the Loop.
Scoop the Loop is a local tradition that began in the 1960s when teens from Seymour and out of town would cruise around downtown in their own car or truck, a borrowed vehicle or perhaps their parents’ vehicles.
Dennis Beavers of Seymour remembers cruising downtown streets, which would be full of all kinds of vehicles Friday and Saturday nights. The practice ended in the early 1990s because with concerns about increases in traffic.
“We see people we haven’t seen in a while,” he said while sitting on the back of a truck along Chestnut Street.
“It is a bit different. We would drive whatever we had, even if it was a rusted-out truck. Now, it’s more about showing off the cars,” Beavers said of the old days.
“We like seeing the older vehicles,” Dennis’s wife, Darlene, said.
Down the street, Lisa Imlay sat next to her nephew, Damien Newport, 12, near the railroad tracks just watching the cars pass.
“My husband, Kevin, was around during the original Scoop,” Imlay said. “It reminds me a lot of a rolling car show we saw in Tennessee, where people would drive their cars around instead of parking them, but it’s a great time. We’re teaching Damien a lot about the history of the cars.”
Imlay said she hoped they were imparting wisdom to her nephew about the cars.
Things such as respect for history, the hard work that goes into renovating older vehicles and the “love of Fords,” Imlay added jokingly.
“My uncle really likes Fords. It’s neat to see all the history. I think I like a (‘63 Galaxy) we saw the best,” Newport said.
In addition to getting the chance to see classic hot rods, muscle cars, trucks and other unique vehicles, local musicians performed at One Chamber Square for passersby. Many local businesses also stayed open later to offer food and treats, and the Fraternal Order of Police Donald M. Winn Lodge 108 sold root beer and Big Red floats at One Chamber Square.
The lodge uses the float sales and the Pre-Scoop Cruise-In and Car Show conducted the night before to benefit the lodge’s annual Cops and Kids program in which Christmas gifts are purchased for needy children.
It was the fourth year for Pre-Scoop the Loop, and Seymour Detective Sgt. C.J. Foster, an organizer of the event, said he felt the turnout was good, despite the weather.
“I can’t thank the people who entered and who showed up enough,” Foster said. “The people that came didn’t leave when it started raining for like 20 minutes. That was dedication for our lodge.”
Foster said even taking the weather into consideration, Pre-Scoop the Loop earned nearly $7,000, only $900 short of 2017, when there was much better weather.
“It was wall to wall people,” Foster said.
And for many, that was what visitors and participants had come to see.
“We just love getting to see old cars, new cars and the people,” said Jason Senn of Seymour, who attended the event with his wife, Christie Senn.
Jason said he remembers cruising around town as teenagers when they were lucky enough to have a car and sitting and talking with other teens.
“It’s just great to see the cars cruise around town again,” he said. “The cars are more expensive now it looks like, and we had a lot more bass in our cars back then.”
The cars may have changed, but much of the feelings for it remain the same.
“This was our Friday and Saturday nights when I was a teenager,” Dennis Beavers said.