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Canning’s Rockabilly Weekend rebounds from soggy start with lots of antique cars, huge crowd

CANNING, NS - He loves seeing people having a good time and showing them what’s involved in crafting a Green Goblin Customs creation.

Host Chad Hiltz of Canning, owner of Green Goblin Customs, said the deluge of rain made for a slow, soggy start to the eighth annual Rockabilly Weekend. However, it didn’t take long for the crowd to build as the weather improved for the second day on Aug. 20.

The field behind Hiltz’s garage was filled with row after row of antique and custom vehicles and a steady stream of visitors filed in for the show. By noon, the parking area out front was overflowing and cars lined the eastern side of Highway 358 for as far as the eye could see.

Hiltz said it was great seeing everybody. Some visitors came from as far away as Germany and Australia. He said that as long as the sun was shining, he was expecting a huge turnout because it’s been like that every year on the Sunday. This year, there was the extra incentive of the 1932 Ford giveaway.

He said holding the prize draw was a business decision, a way to make some money off a project without going through the trouble of selling the vehicle.

“It’s a big thing, to give a truck away,” Hiltz said.

No one wants to hang around in the rain but he said there were some “die-hard” enthusiasts who still showed up in spite of the weather on Aug. 19. Hiltz said it was a bit of a “knuckle-biter.”

He made the most of the situation, getting a lot accomplished on a project intended to show visitors what’s involved in building a car. This vehicle, another 1932 Ford, was found in the woods on the North Mountain.

“I just decided that we would try to put it together in a weekend and we have,” Hiltz said.

This included building a floor, putting the quarter panels on, changing the doors and more. Hiltz said it doesn’t take a lot to build a hot rod - if you know what you’re doing.

Clair Lively of Middle Sackville brought his classic 1972 442 Oldsmobile to the show for the first time on Aug. 20. He heard about Rockabilly Weekend and decided to make the trip to see what it’s all about. Lively said, “it’s pretty exciting, there’s lots of people and we’re having a decent day.”

He takes every opportunity he gets to show the car during the summer months. Lively has had the Oldsmobile for four years, having purchased it from a seller in New Brunswick. The 442, in immaculate condition, originally came from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“Oldsmobiles were a car I always liked,” Lively said. “I’d been looking for a 442 for quite a while and this one came up, so we bought it.”

He said the car has a great deal of sentimental value to him and his wife, as they used to ride around in an Oldsmobile 442 when they started dating some 35 years ago.

Kyle Furlotte said he and brother Aaron, the Green Reflectors, have made performing at Rockabilly Weekend an annual tradition. He said they love doing it and the event seems to get bigger and better every year.

“I just like the vibe,” Furlotte said. “We were just kind of getting started when we got this gig in 2010, so it kind of holds a special place in our heart, you know what I mean, it’s kind of special.”

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