Saturday night cruising a go

By Jacob Smith - [email protected]

PORTSMOUTH — In cooperation with the City of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Police Department, local residents Chrissy Sprague and Jeff Herdman have helped organize a second straight Saturday night of cruising downtown Portsmouth for families and community members.

In a Facebook post from the Portsmouth Police Department Thursday afternoon, the PPD announced that the cruising event scheduled between 8-11 p.m. Saturday, April 25 on Chillicothe Street and the nearby side streets will occur as planned by Sprague and Herdman, but can and will be shutdown if participants are not abiding by rules and laws set by local law enforcement.

According to the post, PPD’s dispatch service was filled with noise complaints from those in the high-rise apartments located in the Chillicothe Street area of Portsmouth, “Last week was a nightmare for them. Dispatch was inundated with noise complaint calls. Yesterday, Capt. Hedrick spoke with residents of the Park Apartments and they were definitely not happy with last Saturday’s event. All those that participate in these things need to be respectful of the residents who live there. They are here every day; the rest are just passing through.”

In interviews earlier this week with Sprague and Herdman, their focus in requesting the event continue on a weekly-basis was on restoring the community benefit that cruising brings to families and those lived through the era when the acitivity was once the thing to-do.

“We’re asking for three hours, not the whole weekend, but three hours one night a week to be able to cruise Chillicothe Street again and bring the past back alive,” Sprague said. “Saturday night, I saw 70-year old people smiling, bobbing their heads because this is what they used to do. I saw families with young kids participating, parents pointing out things and explaining to their kids that this is what they used to do. It’s something that would be good for the citizens of Portsmouth, and it’s something that there’s hundreds of people are wanting to do.

“It was pretty encouraging to see all the younger people there Saturday enjoying it,” Herdman said. “Anyone that’s under the age of 21, all they have to do is sit around at home, go to bonfire parties, stuff like that. At least this way it keeps them out of trouble and they’re all in one spot so that they have have people watching over them. And the police is right there so that if anything starts going wrong, they can there within a minute.”

After receiving confirmation that the cruising would indeed be allowed to take place this Saturday beginning at 8:00 p.m., Sprague was gracious for the City’s willingness to cooperate in their endeavor of bringing this once-popular activity back, especially in a time when families and people are in search of something to do — outside of their homes.

“Everyone’s wanting this so bad that we’re all willing to work together to do something to make it work,” Sprague said.

Sprague and Herdman stated that they’ve also been in contact with local restaurants and businesses about potentially staying open later so that patrons can visit their place of business after Saturday’s cruise.

Portsmouth Police Department also stated that those individuals and cars participating in this Saturday’s cruise do not rev your engine, do not do burn your tires, no loud music, and no drinking alcoholic beverages in your car. Participants must remain in their vehicles and hanging out of windows is not permitted. “Some will (follow the rules) and some will not. Appropriate law enforcement action will be taken if these rules are not followed.”

More information about the group who organized the cruising event scheduled for this Saturday can be found on the ‘Cruising Portsmouth’ Facebook page.

By Jacob Smith

[email protected]

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved