TRAVERSE CITY — June is strawberry time, and for the residents of the Grand Traverse Pavilions that means it’s time to celebrate the sweet, ruby-red fruit during their seventh annual Strawberry Social and Classic Car Show.
The event takes place June 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. on the historic Grand Lawn of the Grand Traverse Pavilions in Traverse City, where residents, visitors and the public can enjoy local strawberries on shortcake or sundaes and then cruise the many vintage cars on display.
Tickets are $5 per adult and $3 for children 12 and under.
This year’s entertainment will be provided by The Cherry Blossom Ramblers, a family based band featuring Lawrence “Doc” Probes and Donna Wilson Probes and daughters Jessica and Kelly Shugart, who will perform from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
The event included the car show for the last five years and attracts classic car aficionados, including members of numerous northern Michigan classic car clubs who display their cars during the event.
“It’s a lot of fun for the residents who love to look at the cars,” said Patti DeAgostino, director of marketing and community relations for The Pavilions. “It’s a trip down memory lane for them.”
DeAgostino said residents are eager to help and often participate in preparations.
“We encourage our residents to help us clean the strawberries,” she said. “The activity brings back quite a few memories.”
Their help will come in handy. Dining Services Director and Chef James Hunter expects to prepare about 50 flats of fresh, local strawberries to top homemade biscuits and ice cream sundaes for the anticipated 500 to 600 visitors.
“We prepare three daily meals for the 300 residents, plus supply food for the cafeteria, so the event will be business as usual for us,” Hunter said. “The nice thing about the simplistic menu is that it will give us the opportunity to chat with members of the community as we serve them.”
Car buffs can also chat about their hobbies. Car show organizer Don Rettelle said over 50 cars were displayed last year, and he’s hoping for more at this year’s show.
“There’s no registration, no entry fee and no limit. Anyone can enter the show, even on the day of the event,” he said.
Car restoration is a growing hobby with Michiganders, said Rettelle, who is retired from Hagerty Insurance.
“And the show is fun for the residents of the Pavilions. They might not be able to get out and walk around the cars, but they sure remember them.”
The Strawberry Social and Car Show has grown every year, but truly is a weather-dependent event, DeAgostino said.
Grand Traverse Pavilions is owned by Grand Traverse County and governed by the Grand Traverse County Department of Human Services Board. Proceeds from the social benefit and support the programs and services for the senior citizens residing at the Pavilions. For information on the car show or to enter a car, call Don Rettelle at 231-941-5404.