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Funfest 2011 (Day 2)

Sun-drenched fun treated all attendees of Saturday’s festivities.

Andy Bolig - September 17, 2011 11:46 PM

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As the morning began, throngs of Corvette enthusiasts poured into the Effingham home of Mid America Motorworks. At times, the flow of colorful Corvettes measured three cars deep.

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The folks at Mid-America Motorworks understand that many enthusiasts travel as groups and they’ve made parking available for clubs and forum groups to enjoy the festivities as a unit.

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Corvettes aren’t situated well for hauling home heavy and bulky items but, for those who have the room in their rides for smaller items, there were many opportunities to increase their Corvette-specific items.

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Gene Hastlebrock’s 1967 Marlboro Maroon Big-Block coupe resided next to Mike Yager’s barn-found ’57.

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Adding to the color of the show field, the Wienermobile was on hand promoting the famous hot-dog brand by Oscar Mayer.

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The food court at Funfest had something for everyone, even seating.

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Modern Corvettes were designed with golfers in mind and, Funfest had opportunities for them as well, both young and old.

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We sat down with the Central Great Rivers Chapter of the Solid Axle Corvette Club (SACC) members who were holding their annual meeting at Corvette Funfest.  The old gas station made for the perfect meeting spot. 

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The show field began to fill with anticipation as thousands of enthusiasts flocked to the fields of Mid-America Motorworks’ campus in Effingham Illinois.

Whether travelling as a lone-wolf or as a pack, enthusiasts began pouring in early and the rising tide of fabulously-colored Corvettes kept flowing throughout the day.

Attendees were directed to their respective parking areas with the assistance of flag-bearing Boy Scouts of America members. They directed enthusiasts over the many, newly-paved areas throughout the campus, to their parking areas of freshly manicured grass. Parking filled-in quickly, sometimes being fed by a tide of Corvettes three cars thick.

Once on the grounds, enthusiasts began searching out their desired entertainment, whether through the search for information in one of the many seminars conducted during the day, finding camaraderie among the many other enthusiasts that abounded or, by shopping for that must-have item on their enthusiastic list. There were many opportunities to find what they might be looking for but, the weather surely wasn’t a hindrance. Temperatures hovered in the low-70s and a slight breeze kept the crowds cool, even in the sun. Just like the day before, celebrities poured over the show cars, searching out that perfect example of their favorite Corvette. It gave the chosen few a perfect opportunity to share their experiences with their Corvettes, much to the joy of those doing the selecting.

As the day progressed, enthusiasts were able to seek out their celebrity heroes for autographs as well as get photos of themselves next to various notable rides. Several opportunities for photos with greatness were found in many of the fantastic cars that were moved out from Mike Yager’s personal collection and sprinkled throughout the show field. There were L-88s, GM prototypes as well as early styling cars and even some untouched barn finds that found their way out from the halls of Mike’s MY Garage and into the adoring eyes of enthusiasts throughout the day. Attendees might catch a rare glimpse of Mike himself, taking a few minutes to explain items of interest about one of his cars to those within earshot or, feel the pounding compression of one of the L-88s as they momentarily roar to life, drawing instant crowds. The world-famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was on hand for those searching for ways to spice up the Corvette lifestyle with the weird and wacky world of over-sized hot dogs.

For those who choose to feast on real food, rather than mobile munchies, there was a vast food court available with fair-priced foods ranging from pizza to healthy options for any taste. Enthusiasts were able to calm their appetites for breakfast, lunch and supper but then, after supper, they were entertained with the awesome Don Felder, who was the legendary lead guitarist for the Eagles for 27 years. As the evening wound down, attendees began to work their ways back to their respective hotels and dwellings for the evening. Their enthusiasm quelled for another day, they set out for slumber in preparation of another day of fun at the event where its purpose is in its name—Funfest.

For Friday's coverage click HERE

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