Hot Au­gust Nights this week­end

Car show raises money for Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - BY CHRIS­TIAN ROACH chris­tian.roach@cb­

This week­end, hun­dreds of an­tique ve­hi­cles will be lined up on Ge­orge Street in Sydney to sup­port Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion of Canada.

Hot Au­gust Nights brings to­gether car en­thu­si­asts to show off their ve­hi­cles, lis­ten to nos­tal­gic mu­sic and en­joy a bar­be­cue, all while rais­ing money for a good cause.

Start­ing tonight at 6 p.m., hun­dreds of cars are ex­pected to line both sides of Ge­orge Street.

There is no com­pe­ti­tion or prizes for cars dur­ing the event, which has grown in pop­u­lar­ity in the nine years since its in­cep­tion and has raised thou­sands of dol­lars for char­ity. Last year, there were more than 200 cars parked on Ge­orge Street be­tween Dorch­ester and Townsend streets. Rus­sell Ma­cLean, who has been tak­ing his 1956 Chevy to Hot Au­gust Nights for sev­eral years, said it’s a huge hit with car lovers in Cape Bre­ton.

“It’s a good event for see­ing cars — even car shows don’t bring as many (peo­ple) as Hot Au­gust Nights,” said Ma­cLean. “You get to meet a lot of peo­ple you’ve never met be­fore. It’s two nice evenings.”

Cathy Suther­land, the devel­op­ment co-or­di­na­tor in Cape Bre­ton for the Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion, said it’s great to see Ge­orge Street filled with peo­ple en­joy­ing the nos­tal­gia.

“Hav­ing all of the peo­ple there, it’s like old home week and they all come to­gether and they’re sit­ting on the street,” said Suther­land. “Ge­orge Street on both sides is filled with peo­ple so it’s like it’s com­ing alive again, and the old mu­sic play­ing is great.”

In pre­vi­ous years, the event has raised on av­er­age be­tween $6,000 and $8,000 dol­lars each year. One of the ways the event raises money is through T-shirts sold at the event for $20, all of which goes to the Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion of Canada. Suther­land said this makes a big dif­fer­ence for her or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“The av­er­age cost of a wish is about $10,000, so they’re pretty close to grant­ing a wish ev­ery year,” Suther­land said, adding that there are cur­rently 21 chil­dren in Cape Bre­ton wait­ing for a wish.

Gary Chais­son, who has been or­ga­niz­ing Hot Au­gust Nights for the past seven years and drives a 1970 Camero to the event, said it’s about the chil­dren first and fore­most.

“It’s all for the kids — that’s what makes this spe­cial,” said Chais­son.

He also added that the car com­mu­nity in Cape Bre­ton is tight knit and com­pas­sion­ate.

“No­body asks any­one to come, they just want to come to sup­port the kids and it’s a great so­cial event where peo­ple see a nice car and go over and talk to the owner, and peo­ple en­joy that,” said Chais­son.

Other ac­tiv­i­ties at the event, which runs from 6-10 p.m. on both Fri­day and Satur­day evenings,

in­clude, mu­sic from the 1950s to the 1970s, a bar­be­cue hosted by vol­un­teers with Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion, 50-50 draws and a draw for a bar­be­cue.

Chais­son said he ex­pects this year’s Hot Au­gust Nights to be big­ger than ever.

“Ev­ery year has been big­ger. We have it on Ge­orge Street and we have cars from Dorch­ester Stree, to Townsend Street and ev­ery park­ing spot in be­tween. The idea is to cruise the drag — with this, it’s not a car show, it’s a gath­er­ing of friends.”


A large crowd of peo­ple are seen walk­ing Ge­orge Street in Sydney look­ing at the hun­dreds of cars that lined the street at last year’s Hot Au­gust Nights.


A 1955 Chevy is seen parked on Ge­orge Street dur­ing a pre­vi­ous Hot Au­gust Nights. The event brings to­gether car lovers to raise money for Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion of Canada.


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