By Stew Slater, Staff reporter
The burgers of St. Marys — or, at least, three of them — will battle for supremacy at the corner of Queen and Wellington Streets on Saturday, Aug. 25, as part of the second annual Town of St. Marys Car and Bike Show.
And if the public wants to top off their lunch after casting their vote (and viewing the dozens of classic and antique vehicles expected to be lining Queen Street between Church and Water Streets), they can try — and offer their opinion about — two of this town’s best-known milkshakes.
Last year’s inaugural Car and Bike Show was held in the parking lot of the Pyramid Recreation Centre, and had a theme of “Milkshakes and Classic Brakes.” It was such a success that, this year, Pyramid Centre and Tourism Department organizers decided to expand and transform the event in more ways than one.
“We saw it as a perfect opportunity, when you have so many visitors coming from out of town with their cars, to show them the downtown,” explained Corporate Event Planner Kristen George.
She noted that, in many cases during last year’s Car and Bike Show, the men who had spent countless hours tinkering with their classic vehicle were accompanied to the Show by their wives. “And they were looking for a place to shop,” noted George. “So if they’re in the downtown, they’re in the heart of the shopping district.”
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Queen Street will be closed between Church and Water Streets, with classic cars parked throughout the two blocks. It will be a great opportunity for those who have shined up their prized Plymouths, Peugeots or Porsches to show off their possessions, and a great opportunity for other visitors to dream about and remember their own favourite vehicles.
Meanwhile, the “Milkshakes” theme has also been expanded this year — to become the first ever St. Marys Burger and Milkshake cook-off. This will take place at the intersection of Queen and Wellington Streets, and the public will be relied upon to decide on the winners.
Three local eateries have entered the burger cook-off, each with their own much-more-than-standard take on the standard menu item. Competing on Saturday will be the Black Angus Restaurant, the Merchant House Pub, and the Wildstone Bar and Grill at the Stone Willow Inn.
Milkshakes will be available from the Black Angus and the Sunset Diner — also for public voting.
For kids, or those who like to act like kids from time to time, a “Veggie Car Derby” is planned. Participants are urged to “build a derby car with fruits and vegetables! Compete to have the fastest produce.”
George says people can either make their car at home or come to the St. Marys Farmers’ Market earlier in the day on Saturday and purchase local produce for their creation.
By “Derby,” organizers mean just that: these vehicles will need to be able to proceed down a ramp, in a race against time and the other participants’ cars. The following are the rules for building the Veggie
• must consist of fruit and/or vegetables, along with skewers for axles and toothpicks to hold it all together.
• produce cannot be dried, cooked, frozen or canned. It must be raw and fresh.
• produce can be modified in shape and design.
• your car must have at least two wheels and a body.
• your car must consist of at least two types of produce.
• your car must be able to roll.
• your car can be no wider than 30 centimetres and no longer than 60 centimetres.
Once the Veggie Cars are placed on the specially-built Derby ramp, which will be in place at the corner of Queen and Church Street on Saturday, participants are not allowed to push their car, and it must make it to the bottom of the ramp in one piece.
The deadline for Veggie Car Derby registration, which is open to all ages, is Thursday, Aug. 23 at 4:30 p.m.
Register by calling firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 519-284-3272.
Design judging will take place from 12:30 to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The races will take place from 1-2 p.m.
“Enjoy a lovely summer afternoon surrounded by beautiful cars and motorcycles, music, delicious food and great company!” enthused George. “This will be a great event for the whole family to enjoy with many exciting children’s activities.”