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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

CTMHV, Essex Centre BIA welcome Dream Cruise In participants 

by Sylene Argent 

Essex Centre was abuzz with the revving of a couple hundred vehicles as the Essex Centre BIA and the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village hosted the second annual Essex Dream Cruise In last Friday evening.

  Talbot Street, from Victoria Avenue to Arthur Avenue, was shutdown to regular traffic for the event, as to were portions of Gordon Avenue and Centre Street.

  Last year, the Essex Centre BIA solicited the help of the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village to host a car show downtown Essex Centre. The unique partnership allows the Museum to fundraise for its Children’s Education Program, which provides a hands-on learning experience to thousands of area students each year, and the Essex Centre BIA a chance to tap into the expertise the Museum reps have in hosting cars shows. The partnership also helps create a large volunteer force.

  One of the fundraisers the Museum hosts annually to raise funds for the Children’s Education Program is the car raffle. Tickets to this year’s raffle car, a 1983 red Mustang convertible, were available for purchase at the show. The lucky winner will be drawn at its New Year’s Eve party.

Stan Grondin of Amherstburg was one of the many individuals to display a vehicle during the Essex Dream Cruise In. He was proud to show off his ‘65 Impala Super Sport, which he bought brand new.

At that time, he was a mechanic at James Chev in Windsor and liked the style of what would be his future car. He paid $3270.

After he stopped driving this car as his every day means of transportation, he began the complete frame-off restoration project himself, knowing the vehicle would be a classic he would enjoy showing off. 

Ron and Lynda James of Oldcastle also participated in the show. The couple displayed their ‘57 Bel Air, which they have enjoyed owning for 15 years. They both appreciate the speed of their vehicle.

Each of the many individuals who brought a car for display received a dash plaque as a token of appreciation. Everyone onsite was treated to the opportunity to listen in on two rock bands, placed at two separate locations. Both bands have roots in Essex.

“Smokin’ Purple Monkeys” offered a wide-variety of classic tunes, and “Fire” played some rock ‘n roll favourites, in addition to originals off its album “Open Fire.”

Jared Porter, who plays drums and is the lead singer of “Fire” was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the show.

“Playing in the centre of town has always been something I wanted to do and I’m pleased that “Fire” has once again been able to provide our hometown with music for such a nice community event,” Porter said. Last year, the trio played in the Tune Up the Parks concert series.

Porter noted the band has evolved a lot since it was founded a few years back. Currently, the band’s music is available on many streaming networks.

“Fire” can be followed on Facebook at officialFIRE. “Smokin’ Purple Moneys” can also be followed on its official Facebook page.

The purpose of hosting the event was to bring attention to the downtown area by inviting the car show participants and foot traffic of area residents wanting to view the classic, custom, and unique vehicles on display. It is hoped all the activity downtown would bring attention to the ever-changing commercial corridor and would hopefully bring in new clients and customers to new and existing establishments.

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