This year the 13th Annual Retrofest 2015 began with the OLG Classic Car Cruise on Friday evening May 22. Over 600 Classic Cars assembled at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre on Richmond St. where they proceeded to make their way down Richmond St. to the Bloomfield Rd and then to Riverview Line where they cruised along the Thames River to the Prairie Siding Bridge, over the river and back along Grand River Line on the Dover side of the Thames, ending in Downtown Chatham. My wife and I,our daughter, son-in law and their 2 small children watched from our front yard. Our 2 small grandsons particularly enjoyed waving at all the occupants of the cars, many of whom tooted their horns at them and made a big hit with the little boys. It is such a fun evening and we would not miss it!. I am told the entire parade route was lined with spectators. The cars proceeded to Historic Downtown Chatham's King St.where some cruised the drag and then parked to enjoy the many pubs and restaurants, the live entertainment at the Kings Commons in front of the Downtown Chatham Centre and a Free Family Movie, Strange Magic, in Tecumseh Park at dusk, thanks to the Chatham-Kent Health Unit. Families brought their lawn chairs and jackets and enjoyed a great family evening. The popcorn vendor was there with his famous Kettle Cooked Popcorn
The cars started to line up on Chatham's Historic King St. Saturday morning as early as 5 A.M. to get the prime parking places. Festivities on the street and in Tecumseh Park were scheduled from 9 A.M. until 5 P.M. We were there of course and the whole downtown was a real hub-bub of activity. It was so nice to see people turn out in such great numbers for this special Annual Classic Car Event and the first of many in Chatham-Kent. Visitors were able to get a close up look at these special cars dating back to 1990 and earlier and talk to the proud owners who were more than willing to tell you the history of their prize possessions.. There was entertainment and food on the street and even a couple of wading pools in front of the Downtown Mall. Tecumseh park was crowded with lineups for the bumper cars, bouncy castle and the zip line. The many merchandise and food vendors were busy and many were there to enjoy the band shell entertainment, thanks to Boardwalk Condo's sponsorship. Yesterday's Child performed in the morning and Superfly in the afternoon. If for some reason, you missed this year, make sure you watch for dates for next year’s event. You won’t be disappointed.
Remember, Chatham-Kent is host to many Classic Car Events this summer. There have been two new Events added this year.This coming weekend, Saturday May 30th from noon to 2 P.M., there will be a display of the Gray- Dort Automobiles. These Classic Cars were manufactured here in Chatham from 1915-1925. During that time 26,000 vehicles came off the line and the 1919 Gray-Dort Touring Car has been named a National Treasure of Canada. The Company was the brain child of William Gray of Chatham and his partner J. Dallas Dort of Flint Michigan. Come see this and other Classic Models celebrating the company’s history. There will be Birthday Cake and activities for the children. The second new event is a Classic Car Auction being held at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham on July 18/2015 Check out their website for further details. This is an exciting new event for Chatham and the same weekend as the Mitchell’s Bay Car Show so plan to visit both events.
These events are always a feather in Chatham-Kent's
Annual Chatham Rotary Ribfest
The Annual Chatham Sunrise Rotary Ribfest will held in Tecumseh Park on the shores of the Thames River, the weekend of July 3-4/2015. The event now operated by Family Shows Canada who took over from the Sunrise Rotary opted for local musical talent last year. Ribfest has free admission and featured a $20.00 all-day pass for the rides in the park with a parent-ride-free bonus.Thios is a real plus for families. The event attracts Ribbers from across North America and visitors from all over the country to Chatham-Kent. This is a great Chatham-Kent Event with food, music, beer and fun all in Tecumseh Park. Visit their website for further details.
Be sure to visit beautiful downtown Blenheim with its picturesque Main St.(Talbot) for their annual Cherry Fest July 16-18. Sidewalk sales take place with a midway, food and even a cherry pitting contest. Check for details on their website. Fun for the whole family!
Saturday July 18 3-10 P.M. the Shrewsbury Ribs n Blues Festival will take place in Shrewsbury. It is a fun day of delicious food, the best chicken and ribs around and great entertainment. Visit their website for details of this great event and the fabulous line-up of entertainment.
Country Western Boot Hill Jamboree:
The Annual Boot Hill Jamboree will be held this year 2015, July 30 thru August 3 near Clacken a few short miles from Chatham. In 2011 for the first time the Provincial Government donated $65,000 for the event which helped the organizers plan an even more spectacular jamboree. It is a fantastic weekend of top notch entertainment right here in our own Kent County. years event attracted thousands and for many has become one of the main Country Western Weekends of the summer!
In its 7th successful year, the Jamboree offers 5 days of camping, 3 days and 4 nights of Country Music featuring some of the Top Country Music Stars. Last year's line-up included a total of 2O entertainer. They have just announced the line-up for 2015 including the Road Hammers, Corb Lund and Blackjack Billy among others so check their website and watch for my blogs for further updates.
This Summer Country Festival was the dream of one man and his family and has grown into an event that attracts visitors from all over the country. It is a family friendly event and families return year after year as well as die-hard Country Fans. Another example of what we in Chatham-Kent have to offer right in our own backyard. Check online for Early Bird tickets and camping spots by calling 519-678-3434. This weekend Event has established itself as a Major Tourist Attraction in the Summer in just a few short years and attracts visitors from across Canada as well as the U.S.
Annual Lion's Club Seafood Dinner is held each year in June in Tilbury.The year it was June 7/14 Tickets were $70.00 per person and that included all you could eat Lobster, Crab, Shrimp,Clam Chowder, Seafood Salads, Oysters and Clams. Entertainment and Dancing followed dinner. This is always a must for the Seafood Lover and an Annual Event for the Lion's Club. Check my weekly Blogs for dates for next year's event and further details.
Each year in April the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation holds their Annual Fundraiser, the 'Parade Of Chefs, an event which highlights Chatham-Kent Restaurants and local Wineries. Check out Dining and Wining in Chatham-Kent. Proceeds go for ongoing needed equipment for the hospitals. There is a famous guest chef and the 5 course meal with local wine and brews. The 2015 event held April 2 at Club Lentina's was a huge success. 350 People attended and the event raised approximately $45,000. Roger Mooking, Celebrity Chef from the Food Network was this year's emcee.
These Local Festivals and Events not only provide fun and entertainment for individuals and families in the community but attract visitors from all over the country to Chatham-Kent.
Don't miss this little paradise. Discover all the great things to do in Chatham-Kent and why so many people are chosing this area to retire, downsize. relocate to or maybe just visit. Affordable Lifestyle is here for you! Call me, Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty for all your real estate needs and visit my website for events, happening and choice properties for sale in this affordable lifestyle community.
Check my weekly Blog on this site for upcoming events.