From the feel good files comes the 2014 edition of MINI Invasion in the Niagara Region, where American MINI owners who were taking part in MINI Takes the States, ventured north for a fantastic day of activities at historic Fort George.
Completed in 1802, the fort was absolutely the best spot on the continent to host a meeting of American and Canadian fans of a British icon. The British army built the place, which was attacked and taken by American forces in 1813. After the Brits beat back the Americans later in the year at other locations, the Americans pretty much abandoned what is now the Canadian part of Niagara region, allowing the British to reclaim their fort.
The battlefield outside of the fort came to life yesterday with the sounds of first wave style Brit rock, from the Beatles to Sex Pistols and the Rolling Stones to The Stranglers. My kind of tunes!
Participants had driven their MINIs from all over, with some coming from as far as the Atlantic coast. The real distance award has to go to Fritz and Thomas, who have embarked on a tour called MINI Goes all around. The pair began their trek in Germany, before crossing Russia and then making their way to South Korea and then Japan, before a boat trip to California to join in with MINI Takes the States. From Niagara, they are headed to Boston and then back home next week.
The vibe at owner’s events is always fantastic, but the MINI scene is different than any other. Fans of the brand cross all age and national barriers, like no other brand. The one constant is that just about everyone does something to personalize their MINI. The passion these owners, from both sides of the border, shared for the brand is not only an inspiration, but is a heck of a lot of fun.
To wrap up the Canadian portion of the day, a convoy of MINIs made its way along Niagara’s scenic Lakeshore Drive, to the Table Rock area above the Horseshoe Falls, where we literally took over the Falls lookout. As we waited for local police to clear some space for us to shoot above the falls, dozens of tourists took selfies and family pictures in front of a pair of patriotically striped MINIs. There may have been a few photo bombing incidents. It was amazing to see how excited so many people were to see the cars, with one of the Wonders of the World thundering right next door.