At the Chestertown Council meeting, March 18, the council approved a third year of Cars on High, a monthly gathering of vintage car enthusiasts. For the event, the 300-block of High Street is closed off from 6 to 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from April to October, weather permitting. Collectible cars are parked on both sides of the street and around Fountain Park for the public to enjoy. Cars on High is sponsored by Main Street Chestertown.
John Slocum, the organizer of the event, told the council that the turnout for Cars on High has increased over the first couple of years, with 20 to 25 each month during the first year and 30 to 40 a month during the second year. Owners bring their cars from as far away as Washington, DC, and Wilmington, Delaware, he said.
Slocum also announced that he would like to present a car show, tentatively the afternoon of Sept. 14. He said he would ideally like to close off the 200- and 300-blocks of High Street, depending on response. He said the idea of the show came about partly because the Cars on High events are drawing about 50 percent new exhibitors each month, so there are far more interested car owners than the monthly turnout suggests.
He said he would like to offer five to eight judged categories, and invited council members to participate as judges, along with downtown business owners and other “local folks.” He said, “I think it would be good for downtown and good for business, as well.”He said the entry fees, minus the cost of trophies for the winning cars, would be donated to the Chestertown Garden Club and Main Street Chestertown. He added, “There are some spectacular cars here in town and in the surrounding area, which we’ve all been shocked when they show up – because where are they the rest of the time?” He mentioned one resident who has 25 Ferraris – “He brings two of them out every month.”
As part of the proposed show, Slocum asked the council to allow the show to park five or six cars on the Fountain Park grass. These would be invited cars of special interest, he said. There was some discussion of how the park grass would be affected by having cars parked on it. Slocum said many famous car shows have the cars displayed on golf courses. He said the condition of the park is such that a few cars parked there for an afternoon wouldn’t make much difference. He said he’d be willing to plant grass if the areas could be roped off long enough for it to grow.
Ingersoll said that with the farmers’ market running year round, it’s nearly impossible to find a time when nobody is using a given area of the park. He said he thought the idea of the car show was “a great idea if done properly.” Slocum said he would email the council a diagram of where the cars would park. The council unanimously approved the permit for Cars on High, and tentatively approved the car show, pending Slocum’s providing more detailed plans.
Cars on High for 2019 begins on April 18.