VILNIUS – A solemn start to a march of vintage cars was given in Vilnius on Sunday, held to mark the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way, with the organizers saying it's the first joint Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian event after the restoration of independence.
All in all, 205 vehicles, including cars, motorcycles and one bus produced in 1975, had registered for the event but around 150 arrive in Vilnius. Some of the vehicles also took part in the original Baltic Way.
Egidijus Einoris, the head of the Klasika vintage car club organizing the event in Lithuania, said there have been attempts to do such a joint march earlier but they were unsuccessful. And the 30th anniversary was an incentive to step up forces.
"The Baltic Way's 30th jubilee was a great opportunity to join forces. It's the first event by clubs uniting enthusiasts of vintage vehicles after the restoration of independence. It's a historic event in this case," Einoris told BNS Lithuania.
From Vilnius, vintage vehicles go via Panevezys and Pasvalys in Lithuania, and then via Riga, Cesis and Valmiera in Latvia and Viljandi and Turi in Estonia. They are scheduled to reach Tallinn on Aug 20.
The march participants will hold exhibitions and the Baltic Way's commemorations in all these cities.
30 years ago, around 2 million Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians joined their hands to express their wish to restore independence from the Soviet Union. The Baltic Way took place on Aug 23, 1989 on the anniversary of the 1939 Soviet and Nazi pact that led to the occupation of the Baltic states.