By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Prepare yourselves Oshawa, the tanks are getting set to roll.
This Saturday, May 12, marks the first Tank Saturday event for the Ontario Regimental Museum’s summer season and according to Jeremy Blowers, the museum’s curator, this year is shaping up to be more explosive than ever before.
“This is going to be a banner year for the museum, we really caught traction last year, to our great surprise we started seeing attendance numbers over 1,000 on each Tank Saturday,” he says. “(This year), they can expect better than they’ve ever seen before, we’ve invested in equipment, sound systems, and pyrotechnics. So every Tank Saturday will now be really a jaw dropping show and both an exciting but educational experience for those that come.”
The monthly events run every second Saturday throughout the summer and into the fall, kicking things off with a focus on the Gulf War, followed by one of the blockbuster events at the Museum, Aquino Tank Weekend on June 9.
“We have a lot of surprises up our sleeves there,” Blowers says.
The weekend event sees attendance numbers stretch well over 1,000 people and not only includes a wide collection of the museum’s tank collection rolling out onto the field, but will also include simulated live demonstrations and a simulated tank battle.
The event already has nearly 600 noted attendees on its Facebook page.
On July 14, the Tank Saturday will focus on Canada at War, followed by a look at the Cold War on Aug. 11. The September event will highlight the Ontario Regiment itself while a focus on the Second World War will cap off the season on Oct. 13.
The kickoff to the season comes on the heels of a few recent announcements at the museum. Most recently, they received a $50,000 grant from the Directorate of History and Heritage, a branch of the Department of National Defence, and the museum recently partnered with local Brock Street Brewery, who will be donating a portion of the sales from their Armoured Ale back to the museum.
“It’s just another story of local partnerships,” Blowers says. “It’s big for them, they’re growing in popularity and for us, people will be drinking this in Legions and in messes and on bases across the province and just creating some general revenue to help us.”
On top of all that, the museum is expecting to open its latest expansion, the Military Vehicle Conservation Centre next month.