http://www.stardem.com | By CHRIS POLK cpolk@stardem.com

ST. MICHAELS — Forget about the Macy’s Parade — Thanksgiving is just around the corner when the temperatures turn crisp and you spy a line of vintage Rolls Royces, Stutzs and Duesenbergs moving down Talbot Street.

Saturday, Nov. 18, was the last major event and fundraiser for the Classic Motor Museum of St. Michaels, the Thanksgiving Parade of classic cars.

Fifty-six sedans, convertibles, coupes trucks and touring cars shimmered in the bright autumn as they cruised through town.

The mood was holiday festive as, one by one, the cars were parked in the museum’s new parking lot that surrounds its building complex on Merengo Street.

Since its “soft” opening in August, the new, spacious main building of the museum has had about 1,500 visitors, said Linda Haddaway King, executive director of the museum.

“This is the next big thing in St. Michaels,” King said.

Organizers say the museum is a “living” museum, meaning the cars are not just on display. They are used and some quite frequently.

The collection rotates frequently so there always is something new to see.

Automotive restoration has become a high art, according to museum officials, and they have become aware that it is an art fewer and fewer craftsmen follow.

In an effort to engage young people and foster the next generation of automotive craftsmen, the museum recently launched “First Gear,” an educational program in partnership with St. Michaels Middle High School.

Five students currently are restoring a 1938 Alvis, one of many classic vehicles produced by the Alvis company in Britain from 1919 to 1967.

Students already have restored the chassis, and now other parts of the car will be worked on, King said.

Restoration lessons are being offered under the guidance of Mike Kealy of Bay Hundred Automotive.

There also is a St. Michaels Car Club at the high school, which is looking to be inducted into the Bay Country Region chapter of the Antique Automotive Club of America.

King said there are plans to turn a current storage building into a classroom and library.

The Classic Motor Museum of St. Michaels is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the last day of Christmas in St. Michaels, Dec. 10.

Winter hours are 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturdays only.

For information, visit www.classicmotormuseum.org.