This Saturday marks a year of cruising, John Well's style. His mantra “Cruise Whatcha Got” applies not only to the would-be cruisers, but also to those interested in re-energizing a city.
One uses, or cruises, what one has.
Springfield was once the place to hangout on a Saturday night – a place to meet friends and perhaps flirt a little with disaster.
Thanks to John Wells, it is again.
Estimates have it at 80,000 folks have come to Main Street over the past year. To see the cars, or drive the cars, to reunite with old friends or to make new. And the impact the crowds have had on Springfield is dramatic.
The economic benefits to the neighborhood are significant. Local restaurants have seen a dramatic increase in sales and have expanded evening hours to accommodate the crowds.
The intangible benefit to Springfield is even greater. People who were once apprehensive about coming to Springfield, especially at night, are no longer concerned. These same folks are staking out their little spaces along the strip earlier each cruise. Marking a territory which seemingly no one could have wanted prior to June 2012.
And John did it with an can-do attitude and and open arms. Like his mantra, he cruised what he had. No new ordinance or additional tax dollars needed. No consultant's fee or survey of feasibility required. No slick marketing campaign, just a facebook page with the details.
There is a lesson here for our city....”Cruise whatcha got”.
The next cruise is this Saturday at 5:00
Article by Gloria Devall
photo is courtesy of "An Image in Time" photography, Stephanie Hamilton