RetroFest attracts record number of classic vehicles

Article content

A record number of classic vehicles took part in RetroFest Saturday in downtown Chatham.

While the event, organized by the Kent Historic Auto Club and Downtown Chatham BIA, typically has 470 to 550 vehicles, the event’s rescheduling to this past weekend from its usual May date – a decision made to coincide with the RM Sotheby’s 40th anniversary – helped attract more than 800 vehicles.

Brent Davis, treasurer of the local auto club, said the RM celebration was a big factor.

“There’s a lot of cars in the show we’ve never seen here before. It’s great,” he said.

Thousands of people flocked to the downtown, where classic cars and trucks occupied virtually every available parking spot along King Street between Third and Adelaide streets, as well as along Fourth and Fifth streets, extending over the bridge.

Davis said the club was glad to see so many people downtown.

It’s great. Everybody’s having a good time.”


Story continues below

Article content

Although this year was a huge success, Davis anticipates the auto club will return to holding next year’s event on its usual date in May.

“It’s one of the first shows of the year,” he said.

When RetroFest goes back to its regular date, the show in Blenheim will also go back to its original date, which was on this weekend, he added.

Al Holland has brought his 1951 Chevy Coupe to the RetroFest since the show’s very first year.

It’s been the best show I think there is. This year’s RetroFest is phenomenal,” he said.

Holland said everyone involved in organizing RetroFest and the RM 40th anniversary need to be acknowledged for the fantastic job they’ve done.

He enjoys RetroFest for the people you meet.

Most of the people who come uptown, they’re just out for a nice day. They get the kids out and there’s just so much to see and do,” Holland said.

Rob Myers was understated when asked his thoughts on the large number of people attending RetroFest and Friday’s kickoff of RM’s 40th anniversary celebration as he walked along King Street Saturday morning.

Not bad, eh,” he said.

All the proceeds for the weekend’s events are going back to the community to support the Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation of Chatham-Kent, the Chatham-Kent Hospice Foundation and the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation.

Myers anticipates the weekend will raise more than $300,000.

When asked about the possibility of another big celebration when RM Sotheby’s reaches its 50th year, he said, “That’s a long ways away.”


News Near Chatham

This Week in Flyers