The winter stadium of Palanga (Vytauto Str. 16, Palanga), near Palanga Botanical Park (only 500 m to the Baltic Sea coast). Coordinates: 55°54'15.6"N 21°03'48.1"E
Hello American Spirit participants and friends,
I think it’s time to sum up the American Spirit 2013 event
This year have been the year of big changes. At the beginning of the year, I went to Denmark for a longer period of time, and now I’m living here at the moment. This fact that my life has taken such a turn was the reason I faced a serious challenge – to organize American Spirit 2013 remotely. Fortunately, Lithuania has a number of real lovers of American cars who made everything much easier. Organizational matters all were settled smoothly and on 5 August, the crew of four Americans-maniacs set off for Lithuania (from Denmark) by car full of goodies (good stuff) for the event. We have travelled a distance of 1700 km almost non-stop. We arrived on Tuesday and threw ourselves into work. Several official matters, which we couldn’t solve being outside Lithuania, and also a great many little things still remained, therefore during the rest four days we slept little but we were totally prepared on the day of the event.
Friday. Weather forecast was not delightful, it said: sunny but rain will clearly be tomorrow. First participants are gathering at the new field of the event. The environment of the field shall impress everyone: trees are around. It is situated in comfortable place. Some people are surprised that the event is free of charge and some of them are worried. It’s time for our first cruise – the column of about 20 automobiles and the same number of Harley Davidson motorcycles move to the streets of Palanga. The beginning has been made – American Spirit 2013 was officially opened.
Saturday. The weather forecast turned out to be true: the sky is dark, the rain is falling. Fortunately, it’s just a rain and not a storm. The weather is the reason why some participants, who were registered in advance, don’t show up. They were replaced by not-registered ones. There were as many of them as never this year. Participants are aligning in free order in marked places of the field. At midday, before announcing official opening of the event, we are going to cruise. The field becomes empty and it is sad, but we know that everyone will soon return. Field of the event is almost full again and American Spirit 2013 officially started. From this moment, participants are given evaluations near the scene. Automobiles of appropriate categories gather here on designated time and they are evaluated by commission of the event. At the same time, burnout zone is full of enthusiasts. The participants are not wasting their time: some are talking with old congenial people, others grill sausages and discus relevant motoring problems near their automobiles, some of them go for a ride on Palanga streets, or visit cafes or bars. It seems that rain is not the reason for splitting up and moaning about bad weather. And this is it – almost all participants are waiting for the Great parade. We are sent off by a young rock group from Vilnius “Alive way”. At 7.00 p.m., almost one hundred and a half of automobiles and motorcycles, accompanied by police, move to Palanga. As always, chromium shining column move on the main touring artery of Palanga, on Basanavičius street. Regardless of bad weather, streets of Palanga are full of noisy people. Number of people, who arrived on this particular purpose to see an amazing show, i.e. large column of legendary automobiles and motorcycles, is increasing every year. Each year people are becoming free and noisier in expressing their support for participants.
After almost an hour, the column returns to festival square. It is greeted here by “VD Rockabilly group”. Culmination of the evening, i.e. awards, is yet to come. And after the prizes are awarded, we can catch our breath. An official American Spirit 2013 event is over. At dawn on Sunday, several participants and our group are still in the territory. We organise impromptu dinner, clean the field and some kind of after party is thrown. On Monday, a trip back to Denmark is anticipated. This time the trip was not easy, a week of intense work had an impact. But the goal was reached and we are leaving with peace in our hearts.
I am grateful to people who voluntarily contributed to implementation of American Spirit 2013:
To Tomas (“Transtila“) for a scene
To representative of Harley Davidson in Lithuania for sound and “VD rokabili trio”. HOG Vilnius chapter and HD Baltija for joining participants of American Spirit.
To Dmitrijus (“Klaipėdos vertimai”) for constant and timely translations into English and Russian languages.
To Audrius for preparation of entrance and lowrider show.
To Simas for mowing of the field and to Maksimas for final trimming of the field.
To Donatas for administration of the page and creation of new version.
To Aidas for powerful generator.
To Paulius for work with society, watch on Friday and escort of cruise.
To Virgis for reception of the first participants and traffic control.
To Tomas for reception of participants on Saturday.
To Adomas, who is always in the right place, where he is mostly necessary
To Commission members Adomas, Darius, Donatas and Sergejus (Kaliningrad), who performed complicated and interesting work of assessors.
To three young, decent volunteers, citizens of Palanga, Justas, Jokūbas and Karolis for preparation and arrangement of the field, supervision of entrance and order and many other tasks.
To Inga and Gediminas for timely and strong moral support, and not only for this.
To Edvinas for meeting of arriving guests, for patience when protecting entrance into square, and for help everywhere, where it was needed as well as for night dances.
To Rasa for timely help with souvenirs of the event.
To Kristijonas for hunting of elements.
To Reda and Vaidas for taking care of hungry team.
To brothers Aidas and Haroldas, who constantly materially and morally support the event.
To Airsoft clubs Unity (Šiauliai), PMC Klaipėda, B-coy marines (Klaipėda) for acquaintance with American army.
We are grateful to people, who supported the event financially. The event would be different without them. Thanks to V8 club, Vladas Liniauskas (Lituanica UK LTD), Harry Krillo (Estonia), Aurelijus Simėnas, Jonas Šamonskis, Jurijus Pagosianas, Audrius Jonušas, Rolandas Kimantas. Many thanks to those, who assigned their 2 % from the paid the income tax of individuals.
We are grateful to radio station Kelyje and Autoplius for information support.
We are grateful to Route 77 and personally to Vladas for complete support when implementing American Spirit 2013.
Thanks to our friends in Lithuanian and foreign countries, who actively invited their friends to participate at American Spirit 2013.
Many thanks to my family: my wife Odeta, daughter Renata and our friend Manvydas, who accompanied me and made every endeavour to help me. American Spirit 2013 would have been impossible without these three people!
American Spirit 2013 already took place and I am already working with the project of 2014. American Spirit 2014 will traditionally take place during second weekend of August – on 8-9 of August.
In 2014 I will seek to:
Maintain the field of events of this year;
Maintain democratic model of the event – free of charge to participants and visitors;
Develop idea of free cruising;
Refresh American Spirit Rally;
Install great pavilion, where it would be possible to celebrate on Friday and Saturday evenings;
Arrange burn out zone;
Gather more than 200 participants (automobiles and motorcycles);
Order good weather :-)
Thanks to all who gathered! Thanks to all who contributed! Together we can do much more!
Aleksandras Palivonas, the Sheriff of American Spirit