Tenth annual car show comes to Orchard Beach

The parking lot at Orchard Beach has been pretty empty since the summer weather has started cooling off.

But throngs of people and vehicles of all shapes and sizes will soon be descending upon the empty lot for the 10th annual Classic Car and Motorcycle Show. The eventwill be taking place on September 19, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

“We always fill the place,” said event co-organizer John Monsolino. “The right side of the parking lot is for the cars and the left is for vendors and everything else. If you come on Friday and you see us setting up and then see it on Saturday when it’s all there, it’s unbelievable.”

Organizers are expecting about 2,000 cars will show at the event, and about 15,000 people will come to either show their vehicles or just to watch and enjoy the festivities.

About 1,000 motorcycles are also expected for the motorcycle run that will go from the event at Orchard Beach, down to Ground Zero, and then back again to the show.

Although the entertainment is subject to change, organizers are planning a laundry-list of celebrities and local personalities will attend the event, such as Burt Young, of “Rocky”; Joe Causi, of WCBS FM; Buddy Valastro and the gang from “Cake Boss”; Goumba Johnny, of WKTU FM; Joe Frazier, and Reggie Jackson.

Local bands and DJs like, Phony PPL, CLR Band and Loose Moose, will also be spinning, and for the first time the event will feature a Karate exhibition by Chuck Zito, and Tommy May.

“We’re trying to do different things to highlight in the show what different people like,” said Joe Caldwell, who started the car show in 2001. “There will be license plates from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio. People come from all over the place.”

The show will also feature vendors of specialty products and jewelry, as well as auto parts and services. One-hundred dollar tickets will be sold to enter into the raffle for a 1965 Plymouth Satellite Convertible as well, but only 300 tickets will be sold.

Joe Caldwell, a highway patrolman who recently retired because of a9/11 sickness, started the event only weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks, as a fund-raiser for the families of the victims.

It stated out with a very strong showing of about 800 cars and a few thousand people, and managed to raise more than $7,000 thousand dollars.

The success has continued to grow each year.

So far about $330,00 has been raised for the Widows and Orphans of 9/11 Fund, and about $52,000 has gone to numerous children’s organizations.

“I was sitting at Pier 40 when I got the idea for the show,” said Caldwell, a one-time vintage car racer and life-long car fan. “It was supposed to be a one time thing. It was freezing cold the first day, but we raised so much money, we realized it could help out, so now we do it every year.”

Tickets for the show are $20 for cars, $10 for spectators and $30 to ride in the police escorted motorcycle run.

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