11th annual Jeep Night at Newcastle CDJRV
If you were traveling along Route 1 in Newcastle between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. on June 14, you may have noticed a lot of cars parked along the road in front of Newcastle Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Viper (CDJRV).
You may have also noticed billows of smoke rising near some large white tents, and heard music playing. If you'd gotten a closer look, you would have seen a lot of smiling faces, too.
Lots of the vehicles in the parking lot of the dealership were Jeeps. That's because it was Jeep Night.
Randy Miller, the business’s owner, has hosted the annual celebration for 11 years to show his appreciation to people who have bought Jeeps, and any other vehicle, from his dealership. He said it's his way to give back to his customers and the community.
July 1 will mark his 21st year at the dealership. He was pleased that people came from as far away as Virginia, and over 70 Jeeps were brought to the event. “It was just an amazing night. It was three hours of food, entertainment and fun. I'm still smiling because it's my give-back for everyone who has supported me for the 21 years I've been in business.”
Barbecued ribs and steak, pulled pork, potato salad, cole slaw, cornbread and whoopie pies were prepared by Stone Cove Catering, owned by King Eider's Pub in Damariscotta. A bar was serving beer and wine. The Dave Gagne Band and The Salty Dogs, both local bands, provided music.
Prizes were awarded to four Jeep owners. The dirtiest jeep belonged to Donald Bowling of Woolwich, the cleanest to Katherine Hossler of Newcastle, the oldest to Peter Gluek of Newcastle, and the most accessorized to Allen Perkins of Manchester.
Between 800 and 900 people came. After the event, Miller said he was impressed with the way people had left the area. “People were respectful. There was no trash left behind.” he said.
Seeing the smiles on so many faces was gratifying, Miller said. “For everybody to relax, and dance, and to see the kids climbing all over the Jeeps, with so much turmoil going on in this country, it was worth a million dollars to me. It was three hours of fun and relaxation, with people not worrying about anything except having a good time.”
The 12th annual Jeep Night will be held on June 20, 2018.