It appears that the boredom of state-at-home orders during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has revived the tradition of vehicles “cruising” through uptown areas in Highland County.
In Greenfield, where a second cruising event consisting of an estimated 70 to 80 vehicles turned out on Saturday evening, it’s called Bopping the Circuit.
“The name came from me hearing the older generation talking about us kids cruising when we were younger. Most of the folks around Greenfield always referred to it as bopping the circuit,” said Zach Anderson, the main organizer behind the Greenfield events. “It goes back all the way to the ‘50s. I have met several of the men and women that have told me their stories about bopping the circuit back then. They love getting out there and reliving their youth.”
“It’s mainly always been something that the younger guys and girls have done here in town,” Anderson continued. “Now it’s a multi-generational thing happening. And younger generations are being introduced to it. I just had the idea one day that it would be something fun to do again since we can’t hold or attend shows currently.”
Anderson said that in March he created a Facebook post asking if anyone would be interested in getting their vehicles out and going for a drive. He said the response he received was awesome, and that’s when he decided to invite neighboring communities to join in.
“We encouraged everyone that came out to order some takeout from our local restaurants, and I believe most everyone did. This most recent cruise we did we had around the same amount of folks come — some new faces and some people that came back because they enjoyed it here and wanted to help support us.
“We planned and organized with the local nursing homes this time and all of us drove by them. The smiles, the waves and the pointing at the cars from them as we rolled by was absolutely heart-warming. I imagine it brought back tons of memories for those folks. The community has been very supportive.”
The Greenfield schools and village administration have organized their own cruise-in starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 21, according to Anderson.
”They love the idea here,” Anderson said. “And they always come out to join in or just watch from their porches or cars. I honestly never thought it would become what it has. I thought it would just be myself and a few of my buddies out bopping around town. But the whole town and more showed up with us. Whether they were just there to watch or join the group, everyone comes out and has an absolute blast bopping the circuit in our little village.”
While he had the original idea, Anderson said it has been far from a solo effort on his part.
“There are way too many people that made it happen to name them individually. The local community and the neighboring communities from Washington C.H., Circleville, Chillicothe, Hillsboro, Wilmington, Blanchester, Lynchburg, even as far as Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus communities had a hand in making this happen,” Anderson said. “If you could let them know I appreciate them, that would be great.”
After a crowd that one person estimated at 4,000 people on May 9, cruisers were back in action Saturday in Hillsboro. The crowd was not quite as large, but it was still big, keeping traffic in the center of the town back up for a few hours, while others watched from vehicles parked along the uptown roadsides.