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Wayne Liddy

Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc., Brokerage

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If you are a classic car enthusiast, then Chatham-Kent should definitely be on your list of places to visit this summer. CHATHAM-KENT is the CLASSIC CAR CAPITOL of CANADA.

This weekend Friday May 25 and Saturday May 26 is the Blenheim Classics Autoshow and Cruise Night and  will no doubt have an impressive lineup of vehicles of all models and makes. The parade of cars will begin at 6 P.M. Friday Evening on Chatham St. South at the Glad Tidings Church. Automobiles must be older than 1988 and there is only room for 100 on the Main St. on Saturday. Check out their website for more details  and to register for  the Saturday line-up on Talbot St. in Downtown Blenheim.

June will bring a special event, the 17th ANNUAL RETROFEST Weekend will take place June 21-22 in combination with the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of RM Restoration in Blenheim. It is a nostalgic celebration of years gone by, featuring over 600-700 vintage vehicles each year. The event starts Friday night June 21 in Downtown Chatham with the RM 40th Anniversary Kick offf Parade from King St. at the Civic Centre to the Retro Suites. There will be a shuttle service available beginning at 3P.M. from the former Target Store Parking lot with overflow at Union Gas. The Retrofest Car Cruise will begin at 6 P.M. from the John. D. Bradley Centre on Richmond St. in Chatham. The cars and owners begin to arrive as early as 4 P.M. For those who are not at the parade downtown visitors are welcome to wander around the parking lot for a preview of  the cars gathered for the weekend. Watch for signs to direct the traffic. The cars in the parade will end up Downtown on King St, cruising the drag like the old days.The Parade Route is always  lined with people who look forward to this spectacular show. Those lucky enough to live along the parade route will have a birds eye view for family and friends.My wife and I usually go to the Bradley Centre before the parade starts and roam around, view the cars up close and talk to the proud owners.  The Sam Roberts Band Walkin`47 will perform in Tecumseh Park at 6 P.M. 

  1919 Gray Dort CoupeOn Saturday, in Historic Downtown Chatham, those special vehicles will line King St., allowing visitors a close up look and an opportunity to talk to the  owners about their prize possessions. It is always quite a hub-bub of activity with the outdoor restaurants full, entertainment on the street and in the park,  children enjoying the blow up rides in the park and delicious fast food at several kiosks. Tecumseh Park opens at 10 A.M. with entertainment at the band shell until 6 P.M. At 7 P.M. the Chatham-Kent Hospice will host a VIP reception at the Capitol Theatre in Downtown Chatham followed by a Big Sugar/Superfly Concert. It is always a fun event so let's hope for good weather and plan to come out and enjoy! Last year was a huge success as you can see from the video. Each year just gets better with this year promising to be a one of a kind due to the  added 40th RM Anniversary Celebration.

Those are the events in Downtown Chatham. There are also activities to attend at the RM location at 1 Classic Car Drive  RR1 Blenheim Ontario on Saturday. The shuttles will be running from 8 A.M. with the RM grounds open to the public at 9 A.M. If you have never been there this is the time to go. Beginning at 9 A.M. is the Concours d' Elegance. If you missed the one RM put on for their 25th Anniversary don`t miss this one. We were there. Classic one -of-a-kind restored automobiles from by-gone eras. It is not a show you want to miss! Check out the website for a schedule of events and get your tickets now.

In addition to being the Classic Car Capitol of Canada Chatham-Kent has many other premier attractions, like our Chatham-Kent Museum which showcases the area's ties to the automotive industry as well.

1915 was the Gray -Dort 100th Anniversary Celebration which attracted guests to Chatham-Kent from all over the globe.  As part of the celebrations there was an impressive 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. Another piece of Chatham-Kent' s Automotive History.

One of the newer events which began in 2015 in Chatham-Kent is called 'Cars & Coffee'. This newest event has 2 dates each year. If you missed Saturday May 11/19 which was a huge success, you can still catch July 13/2019 at RM. They are from 8-11 A.M. at RM Auto Restoration 1 Classic Car Dr. north of Blenheim. Free coffee and donuts for the first 250 Attendees. It is  'an impromptu car show' and those attending are encouraged to bring their classic cars out for the display. It is also an opportunity to visit the RM facility, view cars which will be featured at upcoming auctions and tour the exclusive RM Classic Car Exhibit.

RM Classic Car Exhibit has over 60 rare and valuable restored vehicles for visitors to view. There is a guided tour of this ever changing display to enlighten and inform spectators and to allow them to get the most out of this amazing display of one of the world's finest car collections.

The 44th Annual Thamesville Threshing Festival Parade and Car Show was also held the weekend of July 21-22/19.  The Event always boasts hundreds of Antique Cars, boats and tractors  for spectators to enjoy at the Car Show and Shine held in Ferguson Park. The first 100 entries receive free admission and a plaque. There is usually a  parade Friday night, at 6:30 to kick off the event. This annual parade is one of the largest in Southwestern Ontario and brings thousands of people to Thamesville each year. There is always a Broasted Dinner and   live music in the refresh gardens at Ferguson Park on Saturday. The live entertainment on stage in the Beer Garden at 9 P.M. and fireworks at 10 P.M. on Saturday  conclude the event.Thamesville Threshing Festival

On July 20/2019 the Mitchell's Bay Association will hold Mitchells Bay Pier









their 8th Annual Antique Car, Truck, Motorcycle, Bike and Tractor Show (Pre 1997) from 11 A.M. to 5P.M. Trophies are given in all four categories. If you have never been to Mitchell's Bay on the shores of Lake St. Clair, this is something you do not want  to  miss. There will be foodand  entertainment. Fun for the whole family. Watch my blog for details on this great 2018 Summer Event and check their website for further details. This little village is know to those of us who love it as 'the best kept secret' in Southwestern Ontario' I have sold several properties in Mitchell's Bay and the reaction from those who do not know the area is always the same. 'I did not know this existed'  So treat yourself and make this a stop on your summer agenda. You will love it and I know you will come back!
Next, for Vintage Vehicle and Boat lovers is  the Annual WAMBO, held in Wallaceburg on the banks of the Sydenham River. This event is the largest and foremost antique transportation show in Canada with motorcycles, wooden boats, airplanes and firetrucks. This is something we attend every year and would not miss it! It is scheduled  for Friday, August 9 to Sunday the 11th. There will be a Chicken Barbeque near the Library on Friday night, hosted by the Knights of Columbus, and then the Classic Car parade down the main Street. The Participants will meet near Harvey's on McNaughton Ave and cruise slowly down James St. to the delight of all, some honking and lighting them up as they pass, no doubt. Wander along the docks talking to some of the boat owners and enjoy seeing some  Wooden Vintage Vessels after the parade. There will be lots to see and do! It is always a great time. If you have never been there you are in for a real pleasant experience. If you want more information, visit their website. Hope to see you there.

And also on August 9-August 10/2019, there is the Bothwell Car Show,  'Show and Shine'   This is one of Canada's largest one day shows with over 1200 cars on display. It is also the largest Auto Flea Market around so if you need some rare parts for your vintage auto this is the place to go. Check their website for times and schedule as the date gets closer.The event usually kicks off with a Parade on Friday night August 10th at 7 P.M. and the event takes place in Victoria Park. Be sure to come out and include this weekend in your summer agenda. You will love it and I know you will come back!

Enjoy Chatham-Kent Classic Car Events this  summer and stay in our newly expanded unique Boutique Hotel, the Retro Suites in Historic Downtown Chatham, one of our many hotels or perhaps a Bed and Breakfast for a memorable weekend in Chatham-Kent . Contact Chatham-Kent Tourism at 1-800-561-6125.

If you are not a car enthusiast, don't worry, these are just a few of the great events happening in Chatham-Kent, the Affordable Lifestyle place to live.We have something for everyone. Follow my weekly blog and keep up to date on coming events. If you are thinking of relocating, retiring, purchasing a vacation property or looking for a great place to raise a family, Chatham-Kent is the area for you. Call me, Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage, proudly serving the people of Chatham-Kent in Real Estate since 1986. Allow me the  opportunity to show you properties for sale in this great community. Visit my website for choice CHATHAM-KENT properties for sale, events and additional information on this unique community. Our MOTTO IS ' IT IS ALL HERE ALL YEAR'

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