Tak­ing a nos­tal­gic ride

Ber­wick Ap­ple Cap­i­tal Evening Drive trans­ports vis­i­tors back in time with vin­tage au­tos

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COMMUNITY - BY KIRK STARRATT KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

It will be like trav­el­ling back in time with era mu­sic, pe­riod cos­tumes and drives around town in vin­tage au­to­mo­biles.

The sixth an­nual Ap­ple Cap­i­tal Evening Drive takes place on July 11 with an af­ter­noon drive for se­niors at the Grand View Manor com­plex from 2-4 p.m. and the event for the pub­lic tak­ing place at the Ap­ple Cap­i­tal Mu­seum at 173 Com­mer­cial St. from 6-7:30 p.m. The au­to­mo­biles in­volved all pre-date the Sec­ond World War. Admission is a freewill do­na­tion in sup­port of the mu­seum.

Or­ga­nizer John Ea­ton, of Som­er­set, is a vin­tage auto en­thu­si­ast who owns four Ford Model T’s. He said the ge­n­e­sis of the evening drive was an ed­u­ca­tional night held once a month at the Ap­ple Cap­i­tal Mu­seum. He ar­ranged for a few vin­tage au­tos to be there and a lot of peo­ple turned out to see them. There was also a pre­sen­ta­tion on Henry Ford and the early days of au­to­mo­biles.

The event has grown ev­ery year since its in­cep­tion. Since the sec­ond year, they’ve been vis­it­ing the Grand View Manor com­plex in the af­ter­noon. This be­gan with a re­quest from ad­min­is­tra­tors to send a cou­ple of cars there. Ea­ton said the visit to the com­plex is very pleas­ing to the clients, who are given the chance to go for a nos­tal­gic ride or sim­ply sit and watch the pa­rade of vin­tage au­tos.

“One lady who was close to 100 said, ‘my daddy used to have one of those,’” Ea­ton said. “They say it’s a fairly im­por­tant so­cial event for them in the sum­mer­time.”

He said the num­ber of vin­tage au­tos tak­ing part would de­pend largely on the weather. In the past, on sunny days, they’ve had as many as 40. They come from all over Nova Sco­tia and some from New Brunswick and PEI.

Vol­un­teers with stools act as foot­men, help­ing peo­ple in and out of the vin­tage cars. The Town of Ber­wick now closes Mill Street for the event to pro­vide a safe area for peo­ple to load and un­load. Vol­un­teers from the Ber­wick Fire De­part­ment are sta­tioned at street cor­ners to help en­sure safe pas­sage for the vin­tage cars.

There will be bands play­ing pe­riod mu­sic and ev­ery­body gets an ice cream sun­dae. The Ber­wick and District Lions Club now holds a fun fair fea­tur­ing pe­riod games in con­junc­tion with the evening ride. The game tick­ets are free and there are prizes to be won. Vis­i­tors are also of­fered tours of the mu­seum.

Last year, they had ap­prox­i­mately 90 peo­ple dressed in pe­riod cos­tume for the evening drive, thanks to the sup­port of Cen­treStage The­atre and co­or­di­na­tor Deb­bie Gil­lis. Ea­ton said they call them street strollers and they add am­biance and colour to the event. There will be foot­men and street strollers at Grand View Manor as well.

“This year, we have restau­rants on board for af­ter hours,” Ea­ton said. “We sort of call them our speakeasies, as in the pro­hi­bi­tion era.”

He said the peo­ple there would also be dressed in pe­riod cos­tumes. The es­tab­lish­ments will be putting on spe­cial menus and staying open a lit­tle later than usual.

KIRK STARRATT

Ford Model T en­thu­si­ast and Ap­ple Cap­i­tal Evening Drive or­ga­nizer John Ea­ton of Som­er­set sits be­hind the wheel of his 1923 Canopy Ex­press.

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