Apple Orchard Car Show draws hundreds to Kents Hills

Jesse and Judy Miller of Randolph drive past a cornfield Saturday as they arrive in their 1953 Chevrolet Two-Ten for the car show at Kents Hill Orchard in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

KENTS HILL — The first Kents Hill Orchard Car Show had something for just about everyone, featuring about 50 vehicles ranging from modern vehicles to classic vintage cars, apple picking in the orchard and food from local vendors.

The idea came about a year ago when show manager Brent St. Clair approached Kents Hill Orchard operator John Harker about how the farm looked like fertile ground for a car show.

“It took about a year of planning,” he said, “but it was Brent’s idea.”

Mountains in the distance frame the view behind a car show Saturday at Kents Hill Orchard in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Harker said St. Clair worked to get sponsorships and get the word out about the event by attending other car show events, going on social media, finding sponsors, placing ads in local publications and getting the word out to the general public.

“He wanted to do something, he loves cars and it seemed like a good thing to do,” Harker said, “and my property here is a good place to do it.”

He said the event offers something for a wide variety of guests.

“There was a lady who just walked by and said, ‘Boy, this is perfect.’ I go apple picking and my husband can go look at cars,” he said.

As soon as he arrived at the car show on Saturday, Jim Newton dusted off his 2012 Porsche 997 C4S convertible at Kents Hill Orchard in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

St. Clair said shortly before noon that the guests appeared to be enjoying themselves.

“No loud music,” he said. “The day is kind of nice, calm, people can pick apples or eat great food. It’s an event with activities, not just standing.”

Local food vendors on site included The Wicked Tater food truck and Fresh Ella’s Ice Cream, in addition to the Apple Shed Bakery, a building on the farm serving cider, donuts, baked goods and coffee.

Jesse and Judy Miller of Randolph sat next to their 1953 Chevrolet Two-Ten, a car that Jesse Miller said was made the year he was born.

Judy Miller, left, and Jesse Miller are seen Saturday reflected in the trunk of their 1953 Chevrolet Two-Ten at Kents Hill Orchard in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“I just call it an old beater,” he said, “but I like to go around. This is not a show car. It has dings and dents and has 33 year old paint that still looks pretty good. I did a bunch of little things to it. The back seat is like a couch in the living room.”

Jesse Miller has owned the car for about nine years and has driven it to hundreds of car shows during that time. He said he likes to tinker with vehicles and that this summer has been great for driving.

“It’s actually been a pretty decent year for cruises,” he said. “We’ve had a few showers but it’s not too bad and the weather is lovely today.”

Harker said that while it would be nice to attract more regulars to the orchard through the car show, he was pleased with the crowd that came.

“I hope we get more people involved,” Harker said. “I don’t know if it will or not, but boy, it brings out a lot of good, fun people for the day.” And that is just as valuable.”

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