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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex Rocks & Rolls provided a family-friendly party downtown

by Sylene Argent

On Saturday, the annual Essex Rocks & Rolls Cruise In and Business Expo event took over the Heritage Gardens Park to provide a family-friendly fun day downtown, with a purpose of stimulating the local economy.

  “We could not have asked for it to go any better, even though we got a little rain later in the day,” one of the event organizers, Randy Voakes, said of the festival’s outcome. He added he and fellow organizers received a lot of positive feedback.

  This was the third time the Essex Rocks & Rolls event was held. It was not held last year, but did take place the previous two years.  

  This year’s event offered live music from the Coastline Band, Todd Porter Music, and the Ultimate Sensation DJ Service. It also featured a well-attended car show that area car enthusiasts took advantage of to show off their custom and classic vehicles. Fairy tail characters, cotton candy, and IHRA cars were also highlights of the event, in addition to a special appearance of Train Wreck, which is part of the Monster Jam series that performs at the Silverdome.

  This year’s Rocks n’ Rolls Cruise In merged to take place with the Essex Business Expo, which Stephanie Winger organized the year prior as a separate event. This year’s Essex Business Expo attracted around 20 vendors.

  Winger said she thought the vendor area was a great success. It attracted a lot of different age groups and showed off some local businesses.

  The event helped to create, “A good, healthy economic environment for the town, “Voakes said, adding he heard that some of the event attendees took advantage of the opportunity to visit stores and shops downtown.  

  When Voakes approached Council about the event recently, he said he and the organizing committee put the event together to support businesses. He said when he was a Councillor, he believed businesses were struggling. So, when the replica memorial Spitfire Plan was going up, the committee members thought a car show would be a great opportunity to bring people into Essex Centre.

  Proceeds of the event will go towards Essex Community Services and its transportation program.

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