PUBLISHED IN VINTAGE LIFE MAGAZINE JANUARY 2016
ChromeFest, now celebrating its seventh year, is an annual event in the Australian vintage calendar. ChromeFest attracts around 50,000 visitors to the local area over three days. It is the largest event held at The Entrance, a coastal town in NSW, about one and a half hours drive from Sydney. The Entrance is best known for its beaches and pelicans; yes, pelicans! You can hand-feed them daily on The Waterfront! I actually remember doing this as a child, so it's quite a long tradition. With its beautiful, relaxed, coastal location, The Entrance is a beautiful spot for the three day event, which is held on the third weekend in October.
While it is definitely a favourite for vintage car lovers (around 500 cars were on display), it also hosted the final of the Miss Pinup Doll Australia competition this year. The Miss Pinup Doll ladies all did very well, not only braving the ChromeFest stage but also raising funds for charity. The group raised around $1400 for their respective causes. Miss Bettie B Goode walked away with the overall national title of Miss Pinup Doll Australia (as well as Best Outfit) and the very talented Renee Ribbons was runner-up. Renee also wowed the crowd with her rendition of 'Something's Got A Hold On Me' winning her Best Talent of the competition.
For the fashionistas amongst us, there were around 45 vintage themed stalls to choose from. I picked up two gorgeous hand-sewn petticoats, an original 60s hat and a reproduction 50s dress, sewn from an original pattern in modern, comic style, Wonder Woman fabric, so plenty of choice there! We also found some carnival fun in the shape of Fairy Floss (Australian for Candy Floss), kewpie dolls on a stick (another long-time Australian carnival tradition) and even a vintage Merry-Go-Round!
The event boasted some fantastic Rock and Roll entertainment including some great bands like the Bonnevillains. Multiple outdoor stages and dance floors were set up to cater for the dancers, fashion parades and the Miss Pinup Doll Final.
But the main focus of the festival is definitely the cars themselves. The event pays tribute to classic American autos and hot rods, but I did also come across a DeLorean, which was a particular thrill for a Back To The Future fan like me. Also timely considering it was BTTF Day on October 21st this year, “Great Scott!”.
The prestigious 'Show & Shine' car show is held on the final day of ChromeFest each year. This is where the best-of-the-best of the cars are shown and awarded. My own personal 'Best Car' of the Fest award has to go to Colin Davies for his fabulous magenta glitter car of my dreams, aka 'Phoenix Rising'; a 1959 Chevy Kustom Belair Coupe that just screams 'Von Tastique'! He very graciously let me pose by and in it, which just made my day! Thanks again buddy! I made sure to mention that if the Phoenix is ever looking for a new home, I'd be happy to take it off his hands, but I'm certain that won't be any time soon, unfortunately for me!