Retrofest Roars Into Chatham
(CHATHAM, ON) – The 40th Anniversary edition of Retrofest got underway with the traditional parade of classic cars. It was a demonstration which conjured up comparisons with the historic Woodward Dream Cruise and made all the more exciting with the appearance of the American Badass, Kid Rock.
Prior to the six-time Juno Award winning Sam Roberts Band kicking off Retrofest with a concert at Tecumseh Park, festival head honcho Rob Myers was honoured by the Rotary Club for his dedication and selflessness, and by Chatham-Kent mayor Darrin Canniff who presented a plaque, commemorating 40 years of community service.
After a too short visit on stage by Kid Rock, Sam Roberts Band took the stage to the applause of over 2,000 in attendance. The number of people in the park hadn’t been seen since The Doors performed here in 2010.
As Roberts and band mates, Dave Nugent (guitar), Eric Fares (keyboard), James Hall (bass), and Josh Trager (drums), belted out Detroit 67 the Kid was in the wings videoing the performance on his phone.
The real stars of Retrofest, the vintage vehicles were on display in the downtown on Saturday, drawing car enthusiasts and the simply curious from across North America. Both live music and on-air radio broadcasts belted out theme appropriate tunes as the throngs strolled the closed streets.
On display were the definitive cars and trucks of a by-gone but not forgotten era. Additionally, kit vehicles and special commissions drew the attention the wide variety of ages in the crowd.
Closing Retrofest for another year was a resounding recital by Canadian blues-rock artists Big Sugar at the Capitol Theatre. Front man Gordie Johnson led the collection of musicians on stage and thrilled the packed house with a string of hits and radio mainstays like Digging a Hole, The Scene, Nicotina, and the Traffic cover, Dear Mr Fantasy.
Proceeds from this year’s Retrofest will benefit the Foundation of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and Chatham-Kent Hospice.