Retrofest recognized as one of the best festivals in Ontario

Retrofest 2020. February 28, 2020. (Photo via Chatham BIA)

Chatham’s Retrofest has received a huge provincial honour.

Festival and Events Ontario (FEO) has named Retrofest as one of the top 100 festivals in Ontario and top 10 in southwestern Ontario. The provincial organization said Retrofest is one of the well-known festivals and events that excels within the industry and draws both an international and domestic audience.

The Kent Historical Auto Club has been involved in the event for many years and its president Ron Vandewynckel said it’s the first time the festival has received this prestigious recognition.

“Oh, we’re proud to be recognized definitely. We’ve been doing this for a lot of years now and we have a lot of cooperation with Chatham BIA,” said Vandewynckel.

Vandewynckel said all the club members work very hard to put on a good show but it’s worth it because the massive crowds really look forward to it every year and enjoy it.

“It’s always very satisfying because we have people pretty near all year round that are asking how things are going to go for next year and where the parade route or the cruise route is going to be going,” he added.

Vandewynckel said there is a new route this year and it should be finalized and announced by the end of March.

“The police department has to check with engineering and find out where all the road closures are going to be and construction in other areas like railroad crossings and things like that as well,” Vandewynckel said.

The festivals were judged by an independent panel of judges. The 2020 Top 100 Awards were handed out on Wednesday during FEO’s Annual Conference.

This year’s Retrofest will be held May 22 and 23 on King Street West and Tecumseh Park. The car registration will open in March 2020. The Kent Historic Auto Club Cruise will take place on the Friday night, and various vintage vehicles will be displayed downtown on Saturday, with activities for families in Tecumseh Park. The park will once again be filled with vendors, rides and retro-fun themed activities.