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Car fayre aims to bring international flair to city
by Angela Spencer
February 13, 2013 10:05 AM | 2167 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Angela Spencer
Ray Gilbert with Empire Events, Alpharetta Special Events Manager Kim Dodson and Alpharetta police officer Jomo Bent stand outside Smokejack BBQ, one of the local businesses that will be highlighted at the GREAT British Car Fayre Feb. 23.
Staff / Angela Spencer Ray Gilbert with Empire Events, Alpharetta Special Events Manager Kim Dodson and Alpharetta police officer Jomo Bent stand outside Smokejack BBQ, one of the local businesses that will be highlighted at the GREAT British Car Fayre Feb. 23.
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A British invasion is coming to the streets of Alpharetta in the form of cars and music from across the pond.

The GREAT British Car Fayre and Beatles Tribute Concert will be in downtown Alpharetta Feb. 23 to both highlight British culture and bring people to the businesses across from City Hall.

“What we’ve had was the opportunity to take a car fayre and evolve it into something the public wants to see,” said Ray Gilbert with Empire Events. “The biggest thing we’re trying to achieve here is make this one highly populated, enjoyable event.”

Gilbert said he hopes to attract people with the cars while introducing them to the businesses downtown.

“I’ve been really impressed with the city of Alpharetta and the Convention and Visitors Bureau and what they’ve been doing there,” he said.

Gilbert, who self-identifies as “the biggest James Bond Aston Martin fan out there,” said he has a network of people he’s working with to bring classic British cars such as Rolls Royce, Aston Martin and Lotus models for guests to check out. At 2:15 that afternoon Her Majesty’s Consul General will present the trophy for the People’s Choice award.

In addition to the 100 or so British cars on display, Abbey Road LIVE! will be playing a Beatle’s tribute concert and young local musicians from Music Matters will take to the stage to share their music.

“Everybody loves the music and it really adds to the ambiance,” Gilbert said.

The fayre is partnering with Smokejacks in Alpharetta along with seven food trucks to bring treats to the festival-goers.

Gilbert was with the British American Business Group for four years, promoting business and networking between the two nations.

Now, he is using that expertise to launch cities like Alpharetta into an international spotlight. The car fayre is one way to start that process.

“It’s the first step,” he said. “We need to keep ahead of the curve.”

He said if this year is a success he would like to make it an annual event, continually evolving to accommodate new interests or needs.

The event is free to the public and will have activities for the whole family.

“It’s an absolutely family day out,” Gilbert said.

The car fayre will be from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in downtown Alpharetta.

Information: www.empire-events.net/great-british-car-fayre-alpharetta.

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