Apple orchard car show draws hundreds to Kents Hill


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

READFIELD – The first-ever Kents Hill Orchard car show had something for almost everyone, with around 50 cars ranging from modern hot rods to classic vintage cars, apple picking at the orchard and food from local vendors.

The idea was born about a year ago when show manager Brent St. Clair contacted Kents Hill Orchard operator John Harker to explain 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 on Saturday at Kents Hill Orchard in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Harker said St. Clair has worked to gain sponsorship and awareness of the event by attending other auto shows, going on social media, securing sponsors, running ads in local publications and disseminating information to the general public.

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

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

“There was a lady who had just passed by and she said, ‘Boy, that’s perfect. I can go apple picking and my husband can go see cars,” he said.

Just after arriving at the car show on Saturday, Jim Newton dusts off his 2012 Porsche 997 C4S convertible at Kents Hill Orchard in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

St. Clair said just before noon the guests seemed to be enjoying themselves.

“There is no loud music,” he said. “It’s kind of a nice and relaxed day, people can pick apples or eat delicious 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 farm building that served cider, donuts, pastries, and coffee.

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

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

“I just call it an old drummer,” he said, “but I like to cruise. It’s not a show car. It’s got knocks and bumps, and it’s got a job 33-year-old paint job that still looks pretty good. I’ve done a lot of little things in it. The back seat is like being on a living room couch.

Jesse Miller had the car for about nine years and took it to hundreds of car shows. He said he loves tinkering with vehicles and this summer has been great for driving.

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

Harker said while it would be nice to bring more regulars to the orchard via the car show, he’s happy with the crowd that came.

“Hopefully we’ll bring some more people in,” Harker said. “I don’t know if it’s okay or not, but damn it brings a lot of nice and fun people for the day. And that’s just as valuable.

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