Warm weather brings beach-goers to the sand, pedestrians to the sidewalks and summer-loving automobiles to the streets.

While four-wheel drive might serve Mainers well in the winter, summer is a season for hot rods, classic cars and convertibles.

And it’s the time for Corvettes — and the people who love them — to emerge from months cooped up in a garage to hit the road for long scenic cruises under the sun. And to show off, just a little.

The upcoming Back to the Beach Corvette Weekend in Old Orchard Beach is bringing proud Corvette owners and their cherished cars together for three days of socializing and automobile admiration, including a cruise-in, a Corvette display and a parade.

What began as a casual weekend for a few Corvette owners eight years ago has grown immensely over the years, according to Elaine Kemp, one of the event’s promoters and a self-described Corvette ambassador throughout New England.

“We call ourselves a Corvette community,” Kemp said. “There are many clubs in New England and many people who do not belong to clubs, but we all love the Corvette.”

“I think it’s the fact that the Corvette is the American sports car,” she said. “It has a long history; people value them. It’s not that they’re super-expensive, but they’re made well. There’s a sense of pride because everyone I know who owns one takes very good care of them.”

They’re also not too slow on the road.

“I have always liked sharp, fast cars. My mother could never understand that,” said Kemp, who added that she and her husband once shared a Corvette, but “that wasn’t working out too well.”

The Back to the Beach weekend includes a clambake, dance, parties and an awards banquet for those who are registered, but there’s also plenty of activity for the public.

Thursday’s cruise-in at the Rock ‘n Roll Diner in Scarborough (623 U.S. Route 1), starting at 5 p.m., will showcase an array of well-tended autos. Kemp said the cruise-in isn’t Corvette-exclusive, and drivers who own other classic cars, sports cars or hot rods are welcome to come down.

Folks who don’t own a cruise-in worthy car but can still appreciate one when they see it are encouraged to stop by, walk around and talk engines with like-minded drivers.

On Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Corvettes will gather on Old Orchard Street, which will be closed to traffic. The cars — from classics to late models — will be displayed under the Maine sun while aficionados and casual appreciators unabashedly scope them out. A live band will be performing as well.

Attendees don’t need to own a Corvette to drool over one as they cruise by during the Corvette parade, slated for 2 p.m. The parade will start at The Captain’s Galley Restaurant (168 Saco Ave.), turn down Temple Avenue, then left onto West Grand, through downtown to East Grand, left onto Walnut Street, left onto Milliken Street and right onto Old Orchard Street. The parade will disperse at the top of the hill.

Area Corvette owners are encouraged to join in.

“We welcome anyone who wants to come up and mingle or get involved in the parade,” Kemp said.

Corvette pride will swell in Old Orchard Beach and locals can take advantage of the opportunity to be a part the “Corvette community,” even if it’s just as an admirer.

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at:

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