May 24-25, 2019
More than one hundred classic and vintage vehicles descend on downtown Blenheim along with thousands of local car buffs. Featuring a cruise night on Friday, visitors to this event are also encouraged to take in a BBQ, car theme movie and food and entertainment at Talbot Trail Park.
June 21 - 22, 2019
This year RetroFest will be taken to a whole other level as RM Sotheby's celebrates 40 years in Chatham-Kent. For those that love tradition, the Kent Historic Auto Club Cruise will take place on the Friday night, and the various variety of vintage vehicles will be downtown on Saturday, with activities for families in Tecumseh Park. The park will once again be filled with vendors, rides and retro-fun themed activities. Also on Friday, watch for incredible floats, the Bat Mobile and Life-size Mechanical Elephants.
Friday night, The Sam Roberts Band will take the stage in the park, while Big Sugar, will be held Saturday at the Chatham Capitol Theatre.
Saturday at RM Classic Cars, take in the Concours D'Elegance - a feature of rare cars never seen before, and likely to never be seen again! Watch for Celebrity Judges will be on hand for the car show, Ms. RetroFest will take centre stage, and there will be, for the first time in years public tours at the RM Museum.
The Saturday showcase will very likely be larger than ever as car lovers will motor into town to take part in this special weekend.
Erieau Boulevard of Dreams
June 23, 2019
It's a feast for the eyes in Erieau as the Erieau Car Show takes centre stage. This show features all makes and models and includes food and music.
July 6, 2019
A car show along the water featuring a wide variety of makes, models and years from the classics to the brand new. This show runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free to attend.
Ridgetown Rotary Antique Car Show
July 14, 2019
Enjoy antique cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors all at Watson Grove Park in Ridgetown. The show runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is a $3 donation, kids 12 and under get in for free. Proceeds benefit "End Polio Now".
July 20, 2019
Mitchell's Bay Park is the perfect venue for this family fun event. Along with a great selection of vintage vehicles, there is plenty of entertainment for the kids including food, a bouncy castle, and face painting. The beach and splash pad are also available to cool off in the hot sun.
August 3 - 4, 2019
A show for all ages featuring children's activities, live threshing, harvest and plowing demos. This show also features vintage machinery and saw mill working demos .
Vintage car displays and a Tractor Drive In in the country are among the highlights of this event.
Bothwell Old Autos Car Show
August 9-10, 2019
Enjoy two days of car show fun in Bothwell's Victoria Park, beginning with an Automotive Swap Meet on Friday Night. On Saturday, enjoy one of Canada’s largest displays of more than 1,200 vehicles. Families will also find food and entertainment available.
August 9-10, 2019
Wallaceburg plays host to Canada’s largest and foremost antique transportation show featuring more than 500 displays of cars, fire trucks, boats, motorcycles and airplanes. The arrival of the boats of the Sydenham River is a sight not to miss, while there are plenty of things for families on both days including activities, entertainment and a toy and model show.
William Gray & Sons manufactured carriages, sleighs, and light wagons and was, in fact, one of the largest producers in their field in Canada. The company's factory was located at the intersection of William & Wellington Streets in Chatham. In the early 1900s, they began making bodies on contract for several companies including Ford and the short lived “Chatham” car.
Gray Dort Fast Facts
• William Gray, a Scottish blacksmith immigrated to Chatham-Kent in 1853 and established a carriage-making business called William Gray & Sons
• His eldest son Robert Gray took over his father’s business at the age of 22 after his death
• A total of 26,000 were manufactured right in Chatham between 1915-1925
• It was among the four most popular car makes in Canada along with Ford, Chevrolet, and McLaughlin-Buicks (and even outsold Chevrolet in Ontario for a period of time)
• In 1919 The Gray-Dort Touring Car was recognized as a National Treasure of Canada
• The Gray family remains are found at the Maple Leaf & St. Anthony Cemetery; their gravestones can be located in the Old Maple Leaf Cemetery
A Chatham-manufactured Gray Dort is in storage at the Chatham-Kent Museum. This 1919 touring model is one of the last few in existence. For more details please contact the Museum at (519)360-1998.