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Classic cars roll into Mathews

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by Tom Chillemi

Classics, customs and exotic cars and trucks will roll into downtown Mathews on Saturday, June 1, for the first “Chasing Pavement Vintage Automotive Festival.”

More than 200 vehicles will line the main streets of downtown Mathews, said event organizer Michael “Mac” Casale. “When the spectators walk down the streets we want it to look like the town stepped back in time. This event promises to be more than a car show.”

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Chrome on this 1949 Mercury defines this rolling art.

Mac has been running events like this for 27 years all over the East Coast. This event will be held rain or shine. There will be food and craft vendors plus Blue & Gray Brewery will be pouring their fine Fredericksburg micro brews. All of this will be set up on the Mathews Historic Courthouse Green.

The rolling sculptures will line all the streets in the downtown area and there will be free concerts.

The automotive festival is from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and an awards ceremony will follow. The festival’s finale features a concert by “Blessid Union of Souls” from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Mathews High School air-conditioned auditorium. This group merges pop, rock and soul and has a #1 hit, plus a trio of top 10 hits to its credit. They have shared the stage with Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls and Third Eye Blind, to name a few, and headlined major venues around the world.

There also will be a Blues Brothers tribute band playing during the festival.

The entire automotive festival is a benefit with all proceeds going to Mathews fire and rescue squads, and the sheriff’s department. Mac said the event is a way “to let the people who protect us and keep us safe know that they are appreciated and supported.”

The suggested donation for the festival is $15 for spectators; and $19 (in advance) for the concert. A spectator-concert super saver ticket is $29.

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Lead sleds—cars from the 1940s and 50s customized to look heavy and ride low—were also referred to as “boats.” This 1949 Mercury will be at the Chasing Pavement Vintage Automotive Festival in Mathews on June 1.

The automotive festival will be filmed by Vintage for their TV special that is expected to air nationally in November on Halogen, the CW, locally and on the web.

Trophies will be presented in 25 classes including each decade from the 1930s through the 1970s in categories such as fan favorite, best re-creation, best original and more. The “Vintage Girls” will be on hand along with celebrity guests.

There will be a baseball hat give-away while supplies last by one of the sponsors, “McG.”

Mac said he wants the festival to be more than a car show and has added things for the entire family. He said he is already looking forward to next year. “We want the residents to see the fruits of their labor in form of local enhancement programs that make all our lives better.”

Free parking with shuttles will be at the elementary and middle school and on the lawns by the Mathews Boys and Girls Club.

Mac, a native of Brooklyn, and his wife, JC Casale, came from the Poconos of Pennsylvania to Mathews about 5 years ago and have become part of the community.

On tap for the future, Mac plans on completing a Vintage Gallery by 2014. This museum will house classic and exotic cars, automotive neon, paintings, gas station memorabilia and pinball machines. It will be housed in the former Twigg Motors dealership in downtown Mathews. If all that’s not enough, the Casales have just re-opened The White Dog Bistro on Church Street opposite the Historic Green in downtown Mathews.

Things to know:
Saturday, June 1st
10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in downtown Mathews

Concert by “Blessid Union of Souls”
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Mathews High School auditorium

$15 for spectators; and $19 for the concert
A spectator-concert super saver ticket is $29

Free parking with shuttles
will be at the elementary and middle school and on the lawns by the Mathews Boys and Girls Club.

For more information about the event contact the Casales at (570) 350-1422 or email them at .

posted 05.23.2013

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