Once again, there came a day when Birzai was brought back to a postwar time. This was a beautiful day of August 7th, 2010. The town was overpopulated with classic automobile lovers who lined up to show the extraordinary cars. This beautiful day was brought in part by the classic automobile club “Klasika”, whom attracted colleagues from many of Lithuanians towns and villages. It is amazing that we received guests from “Dzukija” classic automobile club, Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, and the surrounding towns around Birzai.
The participants gathered into a pack of cars from “Baltic Petroleum” gas station and headed towards Astravas Palace. The parade consisted of 53 historical transportation vehicles, of which, 11 were motorcycles, 2 tractors, 5 trucks, and 35 cars. Participants came by the Astravas Palace and rounded up their cars for the exhibition, while the viewers and the participants could be astonished by the beauty of the architecture of the palace, which once belonged to Count Jonas Tiskevicius. Participants and the viewers were amazed by the park in Astravas Palace and the palace itself because of its astounding tower. Later the guide introduced all participants to the history of Birzai and showed the beautiful man-made lake which happens to be the oldest man-made lake in Lithuania and was made in the year 1575 by rerouting Apascia and Agluona rivers.
After witnessing the beautify of the park and the palace, the line of cars headed to the centre of Birzai – the independence square which contains the memorial site from 1931 for all the brave men and woman who fought for the independence of Lithuania. Dalius Linkevicius DT-20, Ford tractors and ZIL-157 water carrier truck were already waiting there to accompany the pack of cars. While people were enjoying the beautiful classic automobiles, the participants of the show were not being bored because they were on a tour of Birzai Castle which was built in 1586 following the Italian basilica style. In the Birzai Castle, the participants also enjoyed a once in a lifetime play “The Journey of Beer” (Alaus Kelias), during which, the participants not only saw how “Birzai” beer was made, but also got to enjoy it. They also learned how to sing Birzai songs. Later everyone realized that one mug of beer is too few, but two is too many!
After being introduced to the downtown of Birzai, the participants were escorted to the Birzai airport, where food, drinks, a special concert, fun and flying with planes were waiting for them.
The participants could enjoy country music performed by the folklore band “Sumestinis” which was lead by Audrius Milisiunas. After enjoying the music, participants were awarded diplomas and special prizes.
While choosing the most beautiful automobile, there was no debate when the nomination went to a 1965 Mercedes Benz W111. The owner of this extraordinary vehicle is Ricardas Rajuncius from a neighboring town – Panevezys. Because classic objects tend to be stubborn we decided to include an award to unfortunate owners of that stubborn transportation equipment. This time the most stubborn vehicle was a 1970 scooter TURIST T-200 whose owner is Romas Bartkevicius. We hope that next time everything will go just as planned. For the oldest car, the award went to Dalius Linkevicius who brought a 1941 Mercedes Benz fire truck.
It is very pleasant to see that the owners of classic vehicles not only prepare their equipment for the show and the parade, but also to get in the role by dressing up to their particular year that their automobile or motorcycle is from. The most beautiful and original was of the Grigoraitis family from Vilnius who came with a 1943 Jeep Willy.
The main prize from the sponsors was won by the viewers favorite 1954 Moskvich-401 whose owner is Robertas Tamulevicius from Vilnius, who decorated his car with old luggage on the roof rack. A special prize went to Sigitas Trunce from Klaipeda who had to drive over 280 km to get to Birzai to join us.
Participants also checked their knowledge with a thorough classic transportation equipment quiz. The most right answers from a very hard quiz came from Robertas Tamulevicius.
The lovers of classical music were excited to see the performance by the Chicago Lithuanian Opera soloist Genovaite Bigenyte and Klaipeda Music Theater soloist Mindaugas Gylys. The most pleasurable was the Cechanovic “Waltz of Love,” which was encored over and over again due to audience request. Those with the taste of mainstream music were not bored as well; they were being engaged by Irma Jurgeleviciute and her singing. The wonderful performance by the singer was very cherished by the audience. Everybody was dancing – the old, the young, and the restless. Even congressman Antanas Nedzinskas was not shy to sing and fireworks accompanied his singing. And that was not even the end. Despite the fact that the event ended at 1 a.m., the ones with most endurance were having fun until 4 a.m.
Sunday morning was greeted with the pleasant smell of “Klasika” soup. A few participants even tried to buy the recipe of soup, but the cooks were unwilling to give away their secret. After refreshing, the participants could once again view Birzai from planes if they pleased, and said their goodbyes to “Klasika” and Birzai until next year’s festival.
A big thanks and recognition goes out to our sponsors! For the delicious food we thank UAB “Agaras”, for the delicious bread, buns and other delicatessens – UAB “Birzu Duona”. For the unforgettable and delicious beer and other refreshments we must thank TUB “Rinkuskiai,” as well as UAB “Birzu Alus,” and UAB “Ponoras”. We must also not forget to give a very big thank you to Birzai Aero Club for giving us a place to camp. We also thank “Birzieciu Zodis” and “Siaures Rytai” for getting the word out about this event. For our and our classic equipment safety and security we thank UAB “Norgauda” and Birzai Police for an awesome and professional escort and protection. We must give thanks and recognition for the breathtaking music to folklore band “Sumestinis”, Genovaite Bigenyte, Mindaugas Gylys, Irma Jurgeleviciute and Antanas Nedzinskas. For the beautiful sound and lights we must say thanks to Dainius Nagele and for the main prize we want to thank Vytautas Kersulis. We also thank from the bottom of our hearts those who decided to sponsor but preferred to stay anonymous.
Thank you everybody and hope to see you next year!