Being Bruce -: Rims on the River!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rims on the River!

So, did you go to Rims on the River 2009 last Saturday? Wow, they sure close downtown Wilmington's streets for some great events.

I parked near the Coastline Convention Center (hint - free and easy, when there's space) and walked down Water Street by the Hilton. First I walked through the Rivefront Farmers Market, which closes a couple of blocks of Water Street just north of Market each Saturday from mid April through December with vendors offering fresh flora and produce.

Our buddy the multi-talented El Jaye Johnson had a tent by the river and he was ROCKIN'.

I walked up Market Street from the river and saw a typical Downtown Wilmington scene: horse drawn trolley, leather-clad bikers, and classic cars - yeah, that's Wilmington, what's not to like?

Market Street was open all the way to the Cape Fear River, but Front Street was closed and lined on both sides of the street with classic cars from north at Red Cross Street as south as Orange Street.

The cars on display were mostly American iron, but there were some foreign cars as well. I think I saw one Ferrari, one Maserati, and a whole passle of British cars (all, of course, pre-1980, the event's cutoff). A lot of pre-80s bikes, too.

There were a couple of these coffin-looking low-riding dragsters. Not sure exactly what they're called (so help me out with a comment to this blog post, someone), but I can't imagine they'd drive well on uneven streets - ouch, those cobblestones hurt!

The timeless Cobra with its clean, mean look appeals to almost everyone.

Advance Auto had a trailer with a monster truck inside. If you wanted you could wait in line to sit in the driver's seat to watch a big video screen where I assume they simulated you driving over jumps and bunches of other cars and stuff. It was too nice a day, so I decided I didn't wanna. Mostly in the line were kids and guys with dates.

The greater Wilmington area has a boatload of car shows - sigh, that's not very well said, is it? OK, so anyway they have a lot of them. Rims on the River is pretty big (estimated at 400 cars by the estimable Downtown Business Alliance).

One might wonder how closing the downtown streets so often during weekends is for downtown merchants. I suppose it matters, but I spoke briefly with good guy Scott who manages Front Street Brewery (that would be on Front Street) and he seemed pretty happy. When the weather cooperates as it did so well for the Azalea Festival and Rims on the River, Front Street Brewery puts tables and chairs outside and moves their host/hostess station to the door and does a booming business. Other restaurants apear to love it as well.