Year after year, people from across Canada and the United States come to St. Albert to celebrate Rock’N August, one of the largest classic car shows in the North West.
Rock’N August takes you back in time without a time-travelling DeLorean, (although the car has often made appearances), weaving musical themes from the ’50s and ’60s into the five-day event. You may want to mark your calendar for this year’s edition which runs Aug. 7 to 11.
The package is complete with food and entertainment. Pancake breakfasts and barbecues will be held each day at several different locations and there will be plenty of music and dancing throughout the day and night. Talented cover bands such as The Oddibles, The Rum Bros and Sweet Vintage Rides will perform, bringing original music and a fresh take on classic songs we all know and love. And of course, an Elvis impersonator will be performing at the Century Casino on Tuesday night.
But truly, the main source of entertainment is the endless stream of classic cars. In 2017, the event had around 900 vehicles on display. The shiny, spiffed-up cars participate in a number of events including a poker rally, roadeo and Friday night cruise. When they’re not on the road, the cars will be displayed at show and shines all week.
Rock’N August’s vice president Bill Isley said this year there will be 31 different car categories, sorted by decade. The event continues to grow each year. He said the Friday Night Cruise is typically a 200-300 car event, but last year more than 500 cars paraded through the city.
“It’s a beautiful sight for people interested in cars, but you can be disappointed if you don’t see anything,” Isley said.
The problem is people often view the cars in a location where the speed limits are higher, so cars drive by much faster. Isley said that if you want to find the best viewing point, try watching from a neighbourhood where there are fewer lanes and lower speed limits. He said the cars tend to slow down once they get to the downtown area and that the Mission neighbourhood is an ideal place to watch the cars go by. A finalized map will be available on the event’s website closer to showtime, but Isley said the route will likely be the same as in the past.
While older generations may have more of a personal connection to the classics and antiques, Isley said people of all ages enjoy the show.
“The beauty of classic cars is every one has a story and they put people in a different place and time. Young people are enthralled with some features on the cars. A seven-year-old girl wanted to know what the window crank was inside the door. She would have had no frame of reference. She giggled and lit up when I told her what it did,” Isley said.
Children are encouraged to bring their own Hotwheels toy cars to the Saturday Show and Shine, where a slot car race will be set up. There will be a Hotwheels race car track set, with room for six cars side by side, a gate at the top and a timer to see which car is the fastest. There will be toy cars available to use as well.
Some children drove their own cars in Rock’N August’s Springtime Soapbox Derby on Sunday June 10. Soapbox cars have been around since the 30s, so this was the kids’ chance to drive their own classic cars.
Rock’N August comes to an end with its big dance party on Saturday night, featuring a live performance by Two Bad Apples.
For more information about all of the events, visit www.rocknaugust.com.