More than 1,000 Jeep owners are expected to return to Butler, Pennsylvania, on August 10-12 for the second annual Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival. Festival organizers announced that online registration is now available for Jeep owners and volunteers who want to be involved in the event, which attracted more than 30,000 visitors to the birthplace of the Jeep in 2011.
"We were entirely overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of all of the Jeep owners who traveled to Butler last year for our Festival," said Patti Jo Lambert, event director. "Our intent was to create a fabulous event that celebrated our Jeep heritage and give Jeep enthusiasts an opportunity to admire all of the makes and models of Jeeps that were created since the very first Bantam was produced. Without realizing it at the time, we ended up creating a homecoming for Jeeps."
The first-ever event was held August 12-14, 2011. It featured a Guinness World Record attempt for the longest Jeep parade, as well as opportunities for Jeep owners to show off their vehicles and have fun with them in off-road activities. The historical element of the Jeep was showcased with a WWII encampment and an exhibit about how the first Jeep was born. Those elements and more will be offered in 2012.
New additions this year include:
Number of Jeeps that Can Participate Has Been Set
More Jeeps will be able to participate in 2012. A "Maximum Jeep Capacity" has been established for each activity and published on the Festival's website so Jeep owners know how many Jeeps can participate. Registration numbers will be updated in the website's registration section so everyone knows how much space is available for each activity. Lambert explained that the maximum quantities were determined so that Jeepers know at the outset that registration for various events is limited.
Jeep Invasion Features a Street Party, Not a Parade
The Festival will kick off in downtown Butler on Friday, August 10, with the Jeep Invasion. The event will feature up to 1,200 Jeeps parked along Butler's Main Street and side streets. The evening event will have a party atmosphere with DJs, food vendors and thousands of Jeep enthusiasts strolling up and down the streets while admiring all of the Jeeps. Downtown businesses will offer special promotions and activities to welcome attendees. Lambert said the Festival's planning committee has decided to attempt to break their Guinness World Record for the Longest Parade of Jeeps in a future year.
New Activities Expand Festival
Three new events are planned for Saturday night. The Jeep Team Challenge is a great opportunity to watch 50 Jeep owners try their hand at some entertaining driving challenges. Watch drivers navigate while blindfolded, cheer on their reverse driving skills and see which team can make the best impression. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and is expected to be one of the highlights of the 2012 event.
The Mystery Road Rally will give 200 Jeeps the chance to go on a scavenger hunt throughout Butler County. Twelve different routes are being designed with stops at some of the county's businesses and attractions. Prizes will be awarded to the Jeep owners who correctly answer trivia questions and return to the Festival closest to the pre-determined time and mileage.
The Great Pig Out will enable Jeepers to feast on a traditional pig roast with all of the trimmings. The evening will also include music, games, and other activities designed to give attendees a chance to meet more Jeep enthusiasts and have fun together.