On a roll: Caffeine & Carburetors returns Sunday to New Canaan
After a four-month hiatus, a popular gathering of vintage car enthusiasts rolls back into New Canaan on Sunday, Sept. 7.
Caffeine & Carburetors is set to start at 8 a.m. in front of its usual spot, Zumbach's Gourmet Coffee, 77 Pine St.
"It's just really nice," said Todd Brown, who's in charge of promotion and marketing for the event. "I think that the people are so looking forward to having it back where it started."
The downtown showcase was originally scheduled to take place six times this year, but issues with traffic control and parking, as well as concerns about pedestrian safety, cut the schedule short to three events. Two future sessions, Oct. 5 and Nov. 2, are on hold as organizers and town officials discuss logistics.
Caffeine & Carburetors took place six times a year between 2009 and 2013.
After two events in April and May this year attracted large crowds -- the May 4 event attracted nearly 4,000 people and more than 400 cars -- organizers were not able to get a permit from the Police Commission for the June event, which moved to Lime Rock Park in Salisbury. A "warm-up" Caffeine & Carburetors was at Lime Rock Park on Aug. 31.
The first Caffeine & Carburetors took place in 1995 and was "resurrected" five years ago. In past years, it was restricted to Pine Street, but with the growing popularity, it expanded to Elm Street, as well.
In addition to police officers, volunteers from New Canaan's Community Emergency Response Team, as well as other volunteers recruited by the organizers, helped control traffic in the area and are expected to do so again Sunday.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tucker Murphy has been working closely with the organizers to make sure the event runs smoothly Sunday. She said the chamber is "very excited" the event has returned to the center of New Canaan.
"We love it," she said. "It's a big draw for the town. ... It's great for the merchants."
Murphy also said there have been discussions about having another Caffeine & Carburetors later this year at Waveny Park. Brown confirmed that is a possibility.
"We're not sure," he said. "We're still working on that. We're talking to a lot of people about that."
As for next year, Brown said "it's too early" to tell.
"We just want to stress that people need to respect local speed limits, be conscientious about where they're parking," Brown said.
Other issues that have been raised with the larger crowds are a lack of bathrooms and parking spaces.
Although attendance depends on the weather, Brown said he expects about "500 cars or so" this Sunday, including the new Camaro Z28. The most vehicles on hand for a Caffeine & Carburetors event was 700, he said.
"You never know what's going to happen," Brown said, noting that there are usually many surprises and unusual vintage models.
"While you're there, enjoy the town," he said. "One of the reasons why we love holding this in town is that it gives people a lot to do after the event. ... New Canaan is a great walking town and there's so much to do. It's a perfect way to spend the Sunday."
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