Chatham-Kent is affectionately known as the "Canada's Classic Car Capitol", and rightly so, with so many classic car events to attend from May to September!
Retrofest kicks off what is unofficially known as Classic Car season in Chatham-Kent. This premiere event attracts thousands of classic car enthusiasts annually to downtown Chatham. Friday night, classic cars line the streets for a cruise, hosted by the Kent Historic Auto Club. This parade of vintage beauties begins at the John D. Bradley centre, and features a new route each year. Saturday morning, the downtown is then filled with hundreds of cars on King Street West and surrounding side roads until 4:00 pm. Visitors are encouraged to head to Tecumseh Park where vendors, rides and retro-fun filled activities take place.
Erieau Boulevard of Dreams
It's a feast for the eyes in Erieau as vehicles of all makes and models take centre stage. More than a hundred classics and their owners are on hand for viewing. This year, the Erieau Boulevard of Dreams will feature a fish fry and music during the event from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm to entertain the crowds. Visitors can then take advantage of the many eateries and shops along with the beach, creating the perfect pre-summer day along Lake Erie and Rondeau Bay.
Blenheim Classics Auto Show
Downtown Blenheim is home to more than one hundred classic and vintage cars every year in June. From 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, classic car buffs can revel in the incredible sights of a variety of models from 1980 on lined up and down the streets. While the road is closed, it's a great time to visit the area merchants as well, and even take a break for a bite to eat. Don't forget, car owners love to talk about their pride and joy, so don't be shy to capture a photo with favourite and rarely seen vehicles. The Blenheim Classics Auto Show also features a Friday cruise night.
Merlin Legion Antique Car, Motorcycle & Vintage Tractor Show
The small village of Merlin is transformed into a classic car mecca one day of the year, and visitors will not be disappointed. Based at the Merlin Legion on Stanley Street, this show runs from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm with much fanfare. The car show coincides with the town wide yard sale, so car buffs can browse treasures while in town. Live music, 50/50 draws and a traditional "Merlicken Chicken Dinner" will be served at 5:00 pm.
Wildwood By the Lake Car and Bike Show
Annually, this show boasts the best display of hot rods along the water featuring a wide variety of makes, models and years from the classics to the brand new. This show runs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and is free to attend. - 12443 Rose Beach Line, Morpeth
Ridgetown Rotary Antique Car Show
Enjoy antique cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors all at Watson Grove Park in Ridgetown. The show runs from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm and is a $3 donation, kids 12 and under get in for free. Proceeds benefit "End Polio Now."
Mitchell's Bay Annual Car, Truck, Tractor and Bike Show
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.
East Kent Vintage Equipment Show
A show for all ages featuring children's activities, live threshing, harvest and plowing demos. This show also features vintage machinery and sawmill 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
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.
WAMBO (Wallaceburg Antique Motor and Boat Outing)
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
Art Kemp Memorial Car Show
This is the second year for this Classic Car show in downtown Thamesville. Honouring Thamesville Sertoma Club member Art Kemp, this show features close to one hundred vintage and classic vehicles lining the side streets of Thamesville.