2016, Jul - Aug

It's Time To Show Off 

By Shell Tomlin

Summer Show Season Kicks Off With Two Giant VW Festivals

To many of us in the Midwest, summer officially begins with the Michigan Vintage VW Club’s Festival weekend in May, nestled between Mother’s Day and the Indy 500. For as long as we can remember, the Ypsilanti, Michigan Visitors Bureau and MVVC have combined forces to produce this annual spectacular event; this was their 29th year.

Striving to make this more than just a “Sunday car show,” the MVVC folks have expanded the activities into Saturday with cruises, museum tours, clinics, banquets and more. Again this year, the Saturday feature was a cruise to nearby Willow Run Airport where a slalom course was set up to test your driving skills. A tour of the Yankee Air Museum followed, allowing drivers to relax and unwind before making the cruise back to the headquarters hotel. A new addition for 2016 was a Saturday afternoon concert in Riverside Park, where the Magic Bus Band entertained.

Early Sunday morning, show cars and swappers alike began swarming into Riverside Park for the main event. This is a non-judged (and non-judgmental) show where you will see practically every imaginable VW model – and derivative thereof. A unique feature of this show is the traditional “Pass In Review,” where a dozen-or-so of the most unusual VWs are examined in details and their owners interviewed over the MVVC’s traveling broadcast Bug. A great deal can be learned from those who rescued, restored or preserved these fine examples of our favorite little cars.

Congratulations and thanks to Dan Pierce, Wayne Burling and the entire MVVC staff for another well-run Vintage Festival Weekend. We’ll be sure to mark the calendar for next year’s event.

June 3-5, 2016, Effingham, IL: Mid America Motorworks’ Chief Cheerleader Mike Yager and his tireless crew presented their 18th Annual Funfest for Air-Cooled VWs. As is now a tradition, the festivities began with an escorted cruise through the countryside, ending with a huge rally around the town square in the center of Effingham. VWs of every style and shape filled all the available parking spaces while their owners milled about on the old Courthouse lawn enjoying snacks and beverages from the many food vendors there. We had plenty of time to catch up with old friends that we hadn’t seen since last year’s Funfest.

As anyone in the Volkswagen community should know, a VW legend was lost earlier this year with the passing of Corky Yager, Mike’s older brother. Corky was the founder of Sunray Bugs in Dade City, Florida and the inspiration behind Mike’s passion for Volkswagens. This year’s Funfest was dubbed “A Corky Kind of Year” in his honor.

Saturday was a bit of a gloomer, with heavy clouds and intermittent rain during most of the day. An umbrella made it possible to visit all the cars and the dozens of local clubs represented, while Mike Yager announced that the car washes were free. There were still lots of activities scheduled for inside the huge “Fun Dome” and “Install Dome” structures on the MAM campus, so we didn’t miss anything while staying dry. Later in the day, the weather cleared and the bands went on as scheduled; Skinny Molly Concert with opening bands LP & The HoneyBee, Superbad and the Naked Sissys.

 Sunday is wrap-up day, or as Laura Yager calls it, “Sunday Funday.” There were still more car show winners with the presentations of the Yager family’s Celebrity Choice awards and the frequent announcements of irresistible bargains on Mid America Motorworks merchandise kept us running back to the Fun Dome for their famous “Blue Light Specials.”

If you call yourself a VW fan, you likely spent the weekend at Funfest, so check the Gallery on our web site, www.vwclub.org, to see if we caught a picture of you and your car there. If you didn’t, check our Gallery anyway to see what you missed. See you there next year!

Shell Tomlin | vwclub@aol.com


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