Welcome to the Cruise!

Camperdown Cruise founder Arthur Matsakos extends a “huge welcome” to visitors and locals alike for this weekend’s rockabilly festival and assures there’s plenty of fun to be had.

Camperdown Cruise founder Arthur Matsakos extends a “huge welcome” to visitors and locals alike for this weekend’s rockabilly festival and assures there’s plenty of fun to be had.

THE welcome mat has been laid out for locals and visitors alike, with Camperdown Cruise organiser Arthur Matsakos encouraging everybody to join in the fun.

“It’s going to be great to see everybody back in Camperdown for the Cruise,” he said.

“A lot of people keep coming back every year because they love the town, its people and all the fun and colour the Cruise brings to the town.

“I want to welcome them with open arms and I’m sure everyone else in Camperdown feels the same way.”

Now in its ninth consecutive year, the Cruise attracts about 500 custom cars, boasts 20 bands (including four international artists), ‘retro’ fashion shows, beauty makeovers and pampering, custom art and 80 rockabilly-styled stalls.

“The Cruise is the perfect combination of everything great about the 50s,” Mr Matsakos said.

“Great cars, gorgeous fashion and the high energy of rockabilly music and rock ‘n’ roll dancing.

“It’s a great atmosphere and really colourful.”

Mr Matsakos said entry to the day activities along Camperdown’s avenue of elms was set at $10 per person and free for children under 14.

The entry fee includes non-stop music at the clock tower and Tiki Marquee, the Miss Camperdown Cruise pin-up competition in the Theatre Royal, access to the stalls, the ‘Custom Lane’ art precinct and much more.

“We’ve got about six custom-culture artists setting up stalls this year,” Mr Matsakos said.

“We’re really trying to grow the art side of the event and can’t wait to see what they have to offer – everything from custom-styled gear sticks to framed pieces of art.”

People are also advised to make sure they caught the international performers, which include Jai Malano of Austin, Texas, Coral Lee from Germany, Dollar Bill from the UK and Eddie Gazel from France.

“It’s not every day that you get the chance to see performers of this calibre,” Mr Matsakos said.

“Jai Malano is a rockabilly-blues-soul singer and is constantly touring the world, so we’re pretty fortunate that she could fit us in.

“Dollar Bill was here last year and was a huge hit with everyone who saw him.  He’s a one-man-band styled performer with heaps of energy.”

Other band favourites include honky-tonk performers Moonee Valley Drifters, swing-rockabilly band Lucky 7 and hillbilly bop performer Kieron McDonald.

Mr Matsakos said he was “absolutely thrilled” that nearly 20 local businesses had come on board to sponsor the Cruise.

“The Miss Camperdown Cruise pin-up event has attracted particularly strong local support,” he said.

“It’s great to see locals support the event.

“We also asked for volunteers to help out in some small way and nearly 30 people have offered some of their time to set up, help out and keep the event pumping.

“If people are still interested in volunteering, it’s not too late, they just have to jump onto the Camperdown Cruise website and register.”

Mr Matsakos said the event now attracted people from right across Australia.

“We’ve got a really strong core of rockabilly enthusiasts that keep coming back year after year, so that says something about the event itself,” he said.

“The Cruise is a great benefit to the town, not just economically, it also helps to put Camperdown firmly on the map.

“All that’s left now is for people to make the most of it and enjoy themselves.”

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