SAAC: Old Cars & Trucks in Branford,
CT's Holiday Festival Parade, Saturday, November 26, 2011
(this page new as of 12/28/2011)
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Staging Scene - Tractors
Staging Scene - Trucks
Staging Scene - Cars
Scene at the Green at the Parade Conclusion
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Local Business' Antique Trucks & Cars Added Greatly To Branford's Holiday Festivities!
I am so happy to be able to record some words and photos from another very wonderful local event that was held in the Town of Branford in which I was able to participate with an old car recently: The 2011 Branford Holiday Festival & Parade. It was held on Saturday evening, November 26th--which, as it is held, was the Saturday right after Thanksgiving.
IMAGE AT RIGHT: Some local businesses' beautiful antique trucks really added some "vintage class" to the 2011 Branford Holiday Festival Parade! This photo was taken before the start of the parade; the location was the large parking area at the west side of the Branford High School building.
I had pre-registered ahead of time with the Branford Parks & Rec Department (thanks again to their rep Dale Izzo for graciously accepting my registration), so that I could participate with our old '56 Karmann Ghia "Luigi," and made sure to get over to the Branford High School parking lot early on the day of the event. My mission was to try and take advantage of some of the fading afternoon sunlight for photographing many of the staged antique vehicles that were there to participate in the Parade, which was scheduled to step off at 5pm.
Thankfully, I had enough time to run around and take a few pictures, and was able to capture not only some views of the trucks & cars that were associated with several prominent Branford-area businesses, but also some of the "non-affiliated" antique cars that were staged around the front parking lot of the high school (which is where I was directed to park also with Luigi)--and so are pleased to include some photos of those cars, too!
As far as "action" shots of the actual parade, or any photos of the antique vehicles that ended up parked by the Town Green while the Christmas tree-lighting and Christmas-caroling were going on (great job there by the Branford High School Chorale, by the way!), the vas majority of mine were very dark and very blurry, unfortunately (I freely admit to being photographer of limited skill and limited equipment capability--especially when it comes to low-light situations!), though I did post a couple within the Branford Patch's web site collection of event photos, reference: http://branford.patch.com/articles/a-community-gallery-the-annual-parade-and-tree-lighting - and there are several other great shots from the evening posted there by other photographers. I also processed a few of the best of them for this page, and you can view them by scrolling downward (the "night" photos appear after the "daylight" photos on this page).
IMAGE AT UPPER RIGHT: Lots more "vintage class" was contributed to the 2011 Branford Holiday Festival Parade by some beautiful antique automobiles as well! In the foreground is a magnificent 1955 Ford Convertible owned by a local resident; and slightly visible at the right background is a '70s Chevy Corvette (owner not known). This photo was taken before the start of the parade; the location was the smaller parking are at the very front of the Branford High School building.
Among the beautiful antique vehicles that we are pleased to bea ble to include within our photodocumentation of the 2011 Branford Holiday Festival in this issue are those that had identification displayed referring to several outstanding local businesses of note, including the following:
It is admirable to see the wonderful town spirit shown by these local companies, via their beautiful vintage vehicles, and the effort made to drive them in wonderful town events such as the Branford Holiday Festival Parade!
Getting back to the cars...as was noted above, we did our best to get to Branford High School, which was the staging area for the Parade, early enough so as to be able to snap a few pictures in the fast-fading daylight. As soon as I got parked at the front of the school, I ran around to the side lot, and captured some images of the old cars & trucks that were present then, and then returned to the front, and captured the photos of the "non-business-affiliated" antique automobiles, several of which are also pictured on this page.
IMAGE AT UPPER RIGHT: Another positively magnificent antique automobile that participated in this year's Branford Holiday Festival Parade was this very rare 1932 Graham automobile, driven all the way from Clinton, CT, to participate! This photo was taken before the start of the parade; the location was the smaller parking are at the very front of the Branford High School building.
As I learned later, a few more old cars arrived at the side lot prior to the start of the parade (at least one two-seat Thunderbird, and a big '60s Cadillac Convertible--I saw both at the Green following the conclusion of the parade-but, alas, it was way too dark for any photos there).
Also at the front of the school, I was not able to capture any images of late-arrivers Will Fleming (well-known "head guy" from the friendly local car club "Blood Sweat and Gears") all the way from West Haven in his blown mid-'60s Chevelle, and another '80s Camaro that I think arrived with Will--thanks again for coming guys!
But I am very happy to have gotten a few good shots of Branford-ite Dave Pooler's beautiful blue & white '55 Ford Convertible, and also an unidentified orange '70s Chevy Corvette.
And then of course there was Bob Ruggiero's outstanding 1932 Graham automobile, maroon with black fenders, and cream-color wheels with wide whitewall tires. Bob enjoyed himself! Quoting from his email note dated 12/8/2011:
"...Great job; Lots of fun. It was a great time. A lot of people showed up for the parade. I will be back next year... Thanks... Bob..."
Thank you, Bob, for coming all the way out from Clinton to participate with your outstanding antique auto!
IMAGE AT UPPER RIGHT: That was our '56 VW Karmann Ghia parked next to the '32 Graham. Note the Christmas wreath attached to the rear of the car. This photo was taken before the start of the parade; the location was the smaller parking are at the very front of the Branford High School building.
And also appearing in a couple of the pictures on this page is our black 1956 VW Karmann Ghia, a.k.a.: "Luigi!" I am happy to say that Luigi ran well the entire evening, and got us back home safely!
I don't think I need to say much more in the way of descriptions beyond what has already been included on both the front and back covers of this issue (along with what was written about the event in the last issue), except to say "Thank You!" again to everyone who made the 2011 Branford Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting happen--specifically the nice people of the Branford Parks & Rec Department, and all their helpers, who once again did a magnificent job of keeping the whole thing organized, safe, and fun for all. Thanks & Great Job Branford Parks & Rec!!!
2011 Branford Holiday Parade Staging Scenes - Tractors
IMAGE BELOW: Not sure who owned these two magnificent "big 'n little" Farmalls that were parked at the lower corner of the BHS west side parking lot, but they sure looked quite festive, including the Christmas banner that was attached to the rear of the larger tractor. You can also get a taste for the bustling overall scene before the start of the parade, with many groups and floats getting themselver ready in the background of this view.
IMAGE BELOW: And at the upper end of the BHS west side parking lot was this "sea" of Farmall tractors, we understand mustered by the Van Wilgen's Garden Center and their helpers! An mpressive turnout , to say the least!
2011 Branford Holiday Parade Staging Scenes - Trucks
IMAGES BELOW: And also from the Van Wilgen's Garden Center stable was this late '40s (our best guess anyway) Diamond T stakebed truck, done up in a bright red paint scheme with green accents, chrome hub caps, freshly varnished wood for the bed's sides (and large wreaths also attached), and "Van Wilgen's" logos on the doors. It was a BEAUTY!
IMAGES BELOW: Here are a couple of views of the fantastic mid-'50s (again, our best guess) Ford F600 "Custom Cab" stakebed truck, bright red with black fenders and accents, with logos on the doors indicating "The Trailer Depot". It had a festive Christmas wreath attached to the front grille. There were also a couple of banners attached to the sides of the bed, with "Branford Football" visible in the side view image shown below.
IMAGES BELOW: Here are a couple of images of the late '40s/early '50s GMC Pickup Truck, dark green with very sport whitewall tires, and sporting logos of "The Fairways Golf Driving Range" on the doors.
2011 Branford Holiday Parade Staging Scenes - Cars
IMAGES BELOW: These two elegant and very unusual British automobiles were manufactred by "Lea Francis." The dark blue 1948 "14 Sports" 2-seat model roadster in the image directly below, as you can see, is right-hand-drive, and had a Santa figure occupying the left seat. What elegant flowing lines! As you can see from the background, it was parked not far from the staged trucks and tractors before the start of the parade. In the second image below, I was able to capture an "action shot" of the other equally sporty & ususual Lea Francis that participated--this one a 1951 wood-bodied estate wagon (I panned the camera with it as it drove into the BHS parking lot--not one of my best shots, but I still kind of like it), complete with a Christmas tree on the roof! It had a banner on the back with the logo of "Tricia Bohan Photography."
IMAGE BELOW: After I shot a bunch of pictures over on the west side of the school, I moved back over to the small parking area at the front of Branford High School, where several of the "non-affiliated" antique cars were directed to assemble. In the right foreground is a beautiful metallic orange '70s Chevy Corvette (owner unknown), and then beyond it, right to left, are: '55 Ford Convertible (Dave Pooler), '32 Graham Sedan (Bob Ruggiero), and just the tiniest bit of the nose of our own '56 VW Karmann Ghia.
IMAGES BELOW: Here are a couple of closer views of Dave Pooler's magnificent light blue & white '55 Ford Convertible (with the '70s Corvette visible in the background of the first image), as it sat staged at the front of Branford High School, prior to the start of the 2011 Branford Holiday Festival Parade. Those dual exhausts sounded as kool as they looked!.
IMAGE BELOW: And past the Corvette and Ford were of course Bob Ruggiero's maroon & black '32 Graham, and then our own black '56 VW Karmann Ghia--both looking spiffy with whitewalls!.
2011 Branford Holiday Parade - Action Shots!
IMAGES BELOW: Finally, some actual parade action shots! As I mentioned in the text section, however, my low-light photo-capabilities leave a lot to be desired. Here are the best of many shots that I took--with heavy electronic manipulation added, to try and bring out some detail... All were shot from behind the wheel of the '56 VW Karmann Ghia, "Luigi," as we drove slowly along in the parade, from Branford High School, up to the Town Green. The first shot is from near the Ivy & Svea Streets intersection, as we drove along westbound on Main Street. That's Bob Ruggiero's '32 Graham directly in front of me, then Dave Pooler's '55 Ford Convertible, then the orange Chevy Corvette, and then, beyond them, I am not sure. The snowflake-design decorative holiday lights along the edge of the street certainly do add a nice festival holiday touch! In the second and third shots, I'm still behing Bob's Graham, but now we're up passing along the front side of the Town Green (to the left), and with a most impressive turnout of spectators--wow!
2011 Branford Holiday Parade - Parade Conclusion Scene at the Green
IMAGES BELOW: And to wrap up our coverage, here are a more "low light" shots that I took at the Branford Green, once the Parade concluded (& the Christmas Tree Lighting and Caroling were underway on the Green itself). Starting from the top, it's the '51 Lea Francis "woody" representing "Tricia Bohan Photography," complete with Christmas tree strapped to the roof; he was parked along Montowese Street, near the corner of Main. Next, I've walked a few feet south along Montowese street, and turned to view back north toward the Main Street intersection; left to right it's the '51 Lea Francis woody, the '48 Lea Francis roadster, and then the "Fairways" GMC Pickup Truck.
IMAGES BELOW: Here are the last couple of "low light" shots that seemed decent enough to include here... These are more of the vehicles that ended up parked alongside of the Green, on Montowese Street, facing toward the Main Street intersection; they included "mass quanities" of antique Farmall tractors, plus the Van Wilgen's awesome Diamond T stakebed truck... In all, it was certainly quite a festive scene! Hope you enjoyed our coverage! Thanks again Branford Parks & Rec Department for making it all possible!
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