Car shows – from large formal events to drop-in gatherings in a neighbourhood parking lot – are a staple of summertime living. Enthusiasts enjoy getting together, and people who love to check out pieces of automotive history flock to such shows. But that was before the novel coronavirus rolled into town.
With most events on hold for now, car enthusiasts do not have many chances to get together and showcase the love they have for their machines. To help make up for that, members of the Elmira Pentecostal Assembly put together a car cruise through town last Friday. The goal was not only to provide an outlet for the owners of classic cars, but to give the community a chance to come together … while staying apart.
“We usually do a cruise night every year, every spring. We couldn’t this year, obviously, so we decided we wanted to do something [within the] community for the folks that can’t get out and about right now. So [we thought] this would be a great idea to drive by homes and greet people without breaking any social distancing rules,” said Rachel Bauman, spokesperson for the church event. “There is very little that we can do at the church as far as outreach goes so this was something that was very viable.”
Bauman says between 25 and 30 cars were expected to come out and take part in the cruise, which started at the church and took a slow tour past many retirement and long-term care homes. The group took a path through Elmira, visiting neighbourhoods and care homes and then proceeded through Floradale and St. Jacobs.
Keeping up with the car theme, the church plans on opening up drive-in movie nights within the next few weeks.
Bauman says every Friday night – perhaps starting July 10 – the community will be able to come out for a free movie and get together in a way that is still safely following social-distancing protocols. She says there will be a screen and FM transmitter setup so people can come in and enjoy a movie each weekend. Donations will be accepted, but the event will be free for all to participate.
Once restrictions are lifted, Bauman is hopeful that the church will be able to host a car show and bring back other events that they normally would have held before COVID-19.
They’re hoping to do a car show maybe in the fall, and with the churches bringing back food trucks they’d like to host some live music, said Bauman, noting the church isn’t making solid plans just now pending details about the province’s next phase of reopening the economy.