Scoop the Loop is on


At least one local summer tradition isn’t being canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ninth annual Scoop the Loop event is still on schedule from 6 to 11 p.m. Aug. 22 in downtown Seymour. Plans also are being made for the fifth annual Fraternal Order of Police Donald M. Winn Lodge 108 Pre-Scoop Cruise-in and Car Show on Aug. 21.

Erin Hays, who revived the Scoop the Loop tradition back in 2011, said with all state coronavirus restrictions being lifted July 4, there shouldn’t be anything holding the event back.

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“If they don’t open fully and limit the group numbers, we would be forced to cancel,” he said of following state guidelines. “But as it stands, there should be no restrictions by then.”

Hays said it’s ultimately up to the public to decide what they feel comfortable doing.

“If you don’t want to get out of your car and just want to cruise with the family, perfect,” he said. “If you want to wear a mask and stand on the sidewalk, perfect.”

He just wants to see people having a good time again, he said.

“I’m really just hoping everyone does what they feel is best for them, gets out and has a good time and 2020 gets some normal back,” he said.

Hays doesn’t know exactly how many people take part in Scoop the Loop, but he knows it’s a lot. Hundreds if not thousands of former and current residents come together for a night of cruising around downtown and reminiscing about the past.

“It would be easier to say it’s the largest downtown event besides the Oktoberfest,” he said. “And to be an event that really the only draw is the nostalgia and making a few new friends, we have an impressive crowd.”

In the past, scooping was an activity for high school-aged kids with nothing better to do on a Friday or Saturday night. Kids would load up in vehicles and make loops around downtown to see and be seen.

By the late ’90s, however, it had pretty much ended due to downtown business owners and residents complaining of noise, litter and vandalism.

Now, Scoop the Loop is a once-a-year multi-generational gathering, with parents, grandparents and kids piling into cars of all makes and models to cruise.

“It was something that everyone misses, their youth,” Hays said. “Reliving memories, swapping old stories, sharing new ones, catching up with old friends, showing a younger generation how you communicated before the cellular revolution. All in all, it is just one fun night.”

The bumper-to-bumper traffic is what people look forward to. Sometimes, it takes more than an hour to complete a loop downtown during the event.

To make the traffic flow a little better, Hays received approval from the Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety earlier this month to block a portion of Third Street and the Second Street turn lanes.

Besides bringing people to downtown Seymour, the event also helps fill local hotels and brings in money to area restaurants.

“It’s a good thing for the community,” he said.

This year’s Pre-Scoop Car Show is from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 21 in the Walnut Street and Robertson Mill parking lots. It is being held in memory of organizer Tom Gray, who was a member of the Seymour Area Cruisers car club.

Gray died Dec. 30, 2019, at the age of 52 of esophageal cancer. He was typically one of the first to be seen downtown on the corner of Second and Chestnut streets during Scoop the Loop and helped with parking for the car show.

The car show is a fundraiser for the Fraternal Order of Police’s Cops and Kids program and has grown into a major event in and of itself.

There will be a 50/50 raffle, a raffle for a set of tires and a gun raffle.

The event will include live music and food available for purchase.

Everyone who enters a vehicle will receive a free door prize, and there will be awards for different classes, best represented car club, long distance traveler and the Tom Gray Memorial Best of Show.

Last year’s car show had nearly 250 vehicles entered and raised $22,000. Most of that money goes to purchase Christmas presents for kids.

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Ninth annual Scoop the Loop

When: 6 to 11 p.m., Aug. 22

Where: Downtown Seymour

Fifth annual Pre-Scoop Cruise-in and Car Show Tom Gray Memorial to benefit Fraternal Order of Police Donald M. Winn Lodge 108’s Cops and Kids program

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 21. Parking begins at 3 p.m.

Where: Robertson Mill and Walnut Street parking lots in downtown Seymour

Cost: $15 to enter a vehicle; admission is free


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