Despite the cold air and some off again on again rain early in the evening, the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival kicked off with large crowds, great music, and amazing looking cars as the Blues Cruise took over Broadway on Friday evening.
On practically each corner of the block was a different band with unique sounds that had some people completely enthralled as they stood still, absorbing the music, and others swaying to the beat and letting the music lead them.
Of course, it’s no secret that music and cars are one of the great pairings in life. Like butter and bread, Bonnie and Clyde or the perfect wine with a plate full of pasta, music has the capability to transform a car from an inanimate object into a streamlining butterfly or a wild cat, ready to take on the open road full of adventure.
When it comes to classic cars, one of the most perfect musical pairings is Blues music; a match so powerful it takes you back in time to a place where many people miss and the rest of us wish we could have experienced. That’s where the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival comes into play.
There are not many places where you have the opportunity to walk down the main street of your town and view generation after generation of beautiful, antique, classic and modern cars, and be pumped up by the great sounds of artists that are well-known.
The cars began rolling up around 5 p.m. and the crowds came right along with them. One of the best parts of the Blues Cruise is that the event doesn’t limit the types of cars, the ages of the owners or anything to do with the cars. It’s open to anyone and everyone, and often sees people coming from all over the place, including the GTA, to participate and see the cars in the show.
This year was the first year that the Blues Cruise wasn’t run by the Road Hazards, the car club who has helped make it successful over the years, but it is clear that their legacy will continue on, as the streets were packed from the road closure at Wellington Street, right up to First Street. Not a single space was left open during the event, and each and every car was unique, beautiful, and garnering quite a bit of attention.
From 1966 Mustang Shelby GTs to hot rods, to a 1954 Austin Healey, and even a guest appearance from The Love Bug himself, there were plenty of cars to meet the desire of every car enthusiast, car fanatic, and car sometimes-lover around.
The Blues and Jazz Festival runs the first weekend in June each year, bringing in close to 30,000 people for the event that has become known across the province, country, and even some areas across the world. Throughout the weekend, those in attendance have the opportunity to enjoy food from the Food Alley, and live performances throughout the downtown core, as well as at several restaurants in Orangeville. While some artists are world renowned, others are just starting out, or local favourites who play each year.
Written by Tabitha Wells