Hot August Nights this weekend
Car show raises money for Children’s Wish Foundation
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.