Orillia Classic Car Show

Orillia Perch Festival  ◘ Orillia Scottish Festival  ◘ Vintage Auto Show

When: around the second weekend of August (14th, 15th "ish" Check the DOMB site for schedule)
Where: Mississaga Street in Orillia (downtown)

The classic and vintage auto show in downtown Orillia is a busy weekend in Orillia. The influx of car collectors and enthusiasts floods the main street of town with people and cars, although these cars aren't being driven. They're being displayed. Orillia cordons off her downtown area and the traffic during this weekend is pedestrian only, making it a very safe environment to bring kids in strollers, toddlers on foot, dogs (and even pot-belly pigs) on leashes, and of course wheelchairs, scooters and walkers.

Even though I don't drive (and am so not interested in cars generally) I love this weekend, I suppose because the only cars I really do love are those that remind me of "the good old days". I was born in the 50s, and my folks had cars from the 1950s, right up into the late 1960s. We never had a new car when I was growing up. This weekend just hauls all my memories of growing up right up to the top of the memory pile ... and because they were good times, it's a weekend that leaves me feeling not only nostalgic, but relaxed and in a very fun mood.

The old cars of course, are beautifully restored and their owners are very careful about allowing you to touch them, but everyone from the little kids right up to the seniors take delight in going from car to car. There are cars and trucks and vans from all eras, not just the 50s, and there are even some from the current times, that are unique in some way. There's hot rods (my husband loves those, but me ... not as much), 30s and 40s gangster sedans; there's woody wagons and painted panel vans, and of course those first old Model A and Model T Fords, and the Tudhope Car.

Some cars are representative of famous cars; one painted like the original Dukes of Hazard' "General Lee"; another, a 1950s 2-tone turquoise and white with it's driver window rolled down and an old A & W serving tray hooked over the window; still another painted to match Home Hardware's collectible models; an old tow truck and an old Volkswagon Camper Van, and even a Volkswagon  Karmann Ghia (aka "the Ghia"). There's simply no way to name all the models you'll find at this show. It does change a little from year to year, with some participants missing a show, and different participants coming in with their new "pride and joy".

Talking with the owners (who usually bring their family along) is as interesting as examining the cars. The streets are full of vendors, musicians, and visitors, and the downtown is filled with an atmosphere that wouldn't be out of place at an amusement park. It's just that kind of weekend. Saturday's are the day to be there - some arrive on Friday, and some may be there for part of the morning on Sunday, but all who are attending will be there on Saturday.

Honestly, if you are in this area on the weekend it's here, it's a must see, even if you aren't a car fan. Who doesn't love these old cars?  As for me, this classic Mustang is probably my favourite - oh, not necessarily "this" one below since it's sort of a green/blue colour but if I could buy one, it would be bright yellow, with a black interior and a black top ... reminiscent of my cousin's very first 1964 Yellow Mustang - the first one I'd ever seen, and the first one I'd ever sat in!