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1999 Volunteer Bug Jam
Our 6th annual show started off with the largest Friday turnout we have had yet. Around 600 people were on the show site preparing for the big show. Many vendors had arrived early in the day to claim a good spot on Vendor Row. Likewise with a couple of clubs getting a good camping space for the weekend. Friday night is a great time to get to see all the goodies the vendors have to offer, before the crowd arrives Saturday morning.
On Saturday morning we were greeted with folks standing at the gate to get in. We opened the gates early to allow these people to come in and get setup. All Saturday morning we had a continuous stream of show cars, parts vendors, and spectators. So many vendors came in that we filled our large vendor area and will have to make this area larger for the 2000 show.
We had 161 show cars registeres by 1 PM, and around 40 cars for sale in the car corral area. With 55 vendors in the vendor row, it was hard to get to see all the items they had to offer.
At 10 AM we fired up the big screen TV and showed videos of the NSVWA tour to the 99 Bad Camberg show in Germany. What a treat for those who didn't get to go with us. We also showed videos of the part of our tour that went to Wolfsburg VW factory and the VW Museum. These were followed by vidoes of the VW television ads and VW history tapes.
Noon arrived and we began our events. These events were designed so that you could compete in your VW. Our Nerf Ball Rally had 22 competitors with the fastest time being 16.7 seconds around the track. This game required 2 people in a car, with the passenger having to hang out the window and collect Nerf balls and deposit them in a hoop or funnel while traveling around a big oval track. Our next event was the Back Up Jack Relay. In this event, you had to run part of the course in reverse. Hard to do if your tranny won't stay in gear.
Next came the Engine Blow. This year we had 3 gifferent engines to try blow. 2 aircooled and 1 watercooled. All 3 blew this year. One of our engines has been run 3 times in a blow before it finally let go. I guess losening the drain plug finally did it in.
Between events we had 3 different bands play throughout the day. And held a Doorprize drawing to raise funds for the Habitat for Humanity. Thanks to all our sponsors who donated these prizes.
One dissappointment for this year was Mac Jones not being able to bring his Schwimmwagen and give rides in the park lake. To our knowledge this was the only show that you could see a real Schwimmer in the water, and have a chance to ride in a piece of VW history. We have done this for the past 3 years, and look forward to Mac's return next year.
At 6 PM one of my favorite events began, The "Old City" Bug Run. We had 102 VWs in this years parade and were escourted to the Old City by Knoxville's finest.
A new event for 99 was the Old City Merchants sponsoring a VW Social in Barley's parking lot at the end of our run. The Boogeymen played a mixture of rock, rhythm, and blues for several hours. Gift certificates, dinners, and prizes were awarded to those who attended the social. We were also furnished free parking so you could check out the many shops the Old City has to offer. This was a great chance to for you to get to sit back and relax from all the activities of the show, and talk to some of your friends you didn't get to see during the day. We received such a good responce from this new event, that we will do this again in 2000.
After the Social, we headed back to the show site. Saturday evening we had 8 VW clubs camping overnight, and around 1,200 VW enthusiasts camped out. The vendors really enjoy being able to camp with their parts and we allow them as much room as they need to setup thier wares. Chilhowee Park is one of the largest show sites on the East Coast and we are able to accomodate clubs that want to camp together. Our show site will be newly renovated by next years and will offer an even larger area for all aspects of our show.
Saturday evening we played our video tapes again and even showed some Herbie movies for the kids.
Contiue to Sunday