Event Coverage

VW Event Coverage

Awenda VW Spring Fling 2024

Article and Photos by Tyler Herron

It's springtime, and it's time to get the VW campers out! Awenda Provincial Park opening weekend was the first group campout of the season. It also happened to fall on Mother's Day weekend. A great gift for those mom's who attended. This campout started with me asking my partner if she would be interested in going camping at Awenda, the weekend before the Victoria Day long weekend, here in Canada. Honestly, she's not a hard one to convince to go camping, so, we booked a site.

Oval Window Beetle

We then decided to ask a few closer friends if they'd also be interested in joining us. When that turned into a half dozen other Buses attending, it was then decided we'd put it out on social media and see what happens. The next thing you know, we had 53 campsites booked! 72% of the Wolf campground, where we stayed! It was a great start to the Volkswagen camping season of 2024. As everyone started to arrive on Friday, it was absolutely glorious to hear all of the VW's rolling in. The Friday arrival weather offered us nothing but cloudless blue skies and sunshine.

VW Buses

However, it gets even better, as Friday night the Northern Lights put on an absolutely amazing show! Some of us gathered in a group near to our campsites, some made the trek down to the beach, on the shores of Georgian Bay. With the event being a mostly do your own thing, Saturday saw plenty of hikers and bikers exploring everything that Awenda Provincial Park has to offer. And on Saturday afternoon, we hosted a wine and cheese social on our site. The rain arrived, just as the 3:00pm start time came around. That didn't stop this group of hard-core VW campers.

VW Hormiga

Soon there were shelters and tarps coming from every which way, in order to continue the social gathering. Much food and wine were consumed. Including from the poutine station we had, thanks to a very generous camper! We also held a food drive for the local Georgian Bay Food Network. We were able to provide a good amount of food for them, at a time when traditional food drives aren't happening.

Split Window Bug

Sunday morning saw us once again under blue skies and sunshine. Some campers packed up to head off early, for their long journey home. Others took advantage of the fabulous weather to stick around and soak up the sun and fresh air and enjoy mother's day. What a way to start the season! We got to reconnect with many old friends and made plenty of new ones. We hope to see you on the road this summer!

Kelly Park 39th Annual VW Spring Meet

Article by VolksWoman | Photos by Lee Stahlecker

Every year when April rolls around, our vintage VW club (VVWCA-GGC) plans and hosts the Spring Meet in San Jose, CA. This show went from a small local get together of about 20 cars to an international gathering with over 200 VWs registered and 3,000 Volkswagen enthusiasts coming from all over the US and Europe. It is truly amazing how much it's grown. An East-coast friend of mine, Steve Mierz, dubbed our show "The Best Vintage VW Show in the Known Universe" and it has taken that name seriously!

Oval Window Beetle

The show is open to any air-cooled VW - this year was the club's 39th Anniversary Meet and it was everything we'd hoped and more. The show is held at San Jose's History Museum at Kelley Park - a slice of old time life in San Jose. Historical buildings from San Jose's past are relocated here, and set up as a "mock city, all connected with city streets, and a central park area. It's very well done, and even contains the trolley cars and rails from early San Jose. The vintage VWs are parked all around on the streets between each building. This year was no exception and the park was packed with old VWs and people.

VW Buses

After being on the front lines for this show for nearly 30 years, Rob and I were very weary of the planning and work. So, we took a break a few years ago, and hadn't been to the show even as spectators for probably 6-8 years. All that rest must have done us good, as this year, something clicked in both of us and we decided to check it out as spectators. I left all my old VWs at home and we headed out in Rob's Dodge Ram. I didn't take a single picture, as I have hundreds of photos of this event over the years and after a while all those photos started looking alike!

VW Hormiga

We wandered around looking at all the cars, took a quick turn through the swap meet (it had mostly wound up by the time we got there), and spent most of the day moving from one friend to another to catch up with them. It was great seeing everyone again, and renewing old friendships. The DJ was there in the band shell, playing oldies all afternoon, and there were two food trucks on site for hungry Volks Folks.

Split Window Bug

For me, the highlight of the day was meeting up with Dan Leadbetter, owner and editor of the new VW Trends magazine. After writing my column for VWT for several years, the former publisher decided to take a different direction with the magazine and all of us were suddenly out of a job. Dan acquired the magazine and now puts out a quarterly edition on his own. When he asked if I'd be interested in having my old job back and writing my column for him, I didn't hesitate to say YES! My first column with the new VWT should appear in the upcoming August issue, stay tuned.

Air Cooled VW Beetle

There was one important person missing this year, club Treasurer Carmencita Valerio. She was a charter member of the VVWCA-GGC, and had served the club for literally decades in one capacity or another. Besides giving nearly every spare minute she had to the VW club, she was a dear friend and a kind and generous soul. She passed away in January, after a very short battle with stomach cancer. The club had set up a small memorial to her at this show, and it was great to see people visiting it throughout the day. She was truly larger than life, and will be missed.

Karmann Ghia

Rob and I headed home after the awards were announced and talked about how this show has grown over the years. I didn't know when we joined this club in 1984, how much a part of our lives it would become. We've made a lot of good friends, learned a lot about our cars (and ourselves!), and had wonderful times making VW memories with people who think like us. I wasn't exactly sure what we'd find when we joined, but I know we've gotten much more than we could have ever expected.

Funfest for Air-Cooled VW 2023

Article and Photos by Mid America Motorworks

- The city of Effingham became a hub of Volkswagen enthusiasts as Mid America Motorworks hosted the highly anticipated Funfest for Air-Cooled VW 2023 on June 16-17. Volkswagen lovers from around the globe gathered to celebrate the iconic air-cooled VW culture. This year's event brought together a diverse range of enthusiasts, offering a delightful mix of nostalgia, camaraderie, and automotive marvels.

Classic Volkswagens

The festival grounds on Mid America Motorworks' corporate campus welcomed visitors with meticulously restored and lovingly maintained air-cooled VW vehicles of all shapes and sizes. From the classic Beetle to the beloved Bus and everything in between, there was an air of excitement as attendees reveled in the opportunity to admire these automotive icons up close. Passionate owners, who poured countless hours into their cherished rides, were more than eager to share stories, swap tips, and display their prized possessions. The air was electric with the sound of engines and the friendly banter of like-minded enthusiasts, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie that underscored the event.

VW Shows

Beyond the awe-inspiring display of vintage VWs, Funfest for Air-Cooled VW 2023 offered a smorgasbord of activities to keep attendees entertained throughout the weekend. Enthusiasts could participate in various activities including Volkswagen history trivia, a stein hoist competition, caricatures by skilled artist Dan Wild, the exhaust sound off competition, the chance to receive a Celebrity Choice Award, and more! For those seeking a more relaxed experience, the swap meet area provided a treasure trove of VW and other automotive memorabilia, spare parts, and collectibles. Attendees had the opportunity to uncover rare finds, strike up conversations with vendors, and enhance their VW collections. The family fun was full swing with activities for the kiddos including a towering inflatable slide, bounce house, and obstacle course, as well as T-shirt tie dyeing and crafts, a sack race, and more!

VW Safari Bus

The entertainment lineup featured a live DJ, VW themed movies displayed on a projector to beat the heat, informative seminars and Q&A sessions with Volkswagen industry experts including Darby Milnor (The VW Doctor) from Midwest Autosavers, Erik Elmauer of the Herbie the Love Bug - Collectibles Museum, Bill Hickmott of B&D Custom Performance, and more! Funfest for Air-Cooled VW 2023 catered not only to automotive enthusiasts but also to food lovers. The event boasted a diverse array of food trucks and vendors, ensuring that everyone's taste buds were tantalized. From mouthwatering barbecue to incredible hot dogs, unique freeze dried treats, delectable donuts, refreshing shaved ice, and more, there was something to satisfy every craving. Attendees mingled, shared stories, and indulged in delicious fare, forging new friendships and strengthening the sense of community that defines the air-cooled VW culture.

VW Super Beetle

On Friday evening of the event, hundreds of VW owners eagerly lined up to take part in the road tour that would wind through the beautiful countryside and around the scenic Lake Sara before triumphantly cruising into downtown Effingham. Upon their arrival, the Volkswagens rolled in and were greeted by Mike Yager, Founder and Chief Cheerleader of Mid America Motorworks, along with crowds of local spectators eager to share in the VW lifestyle. The city of Effingham hosted the Downtown Welcome Fest where more live music, local food and drink vendors, and more, lovingly welcomed Volkswagen enthusiasts.

Karmann Ghia

All weekend long, VW owners were able to kick back, relax, and enjoy each other's company in the warm June sun. But to beat the heat, the "Volksmart" shopping area was buzzing with attendees lining up at the registration counters to receive their event goodie bags and tickets to win some incredible prizes donated by EMPI and Dan's Dune Buggies, while others mingled to shop exclusive event deals on Volkswagen merchandise and parts and accessories. Event T-shirts were available to have made on-site in attendee's own choice of color. A special display was prominent inside the Volksmart as key pieces of the VW collection of Mid America Motorworks' MY Garage Museum were available all weekend long including one of the original Herbie movie cars seen in the 2005 film "Herbie: Fully Loaded".

VW Flat Four Engine

This event isn't just limited to the air-cooled crowd as Mid America Motorworks also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the iconic New Beetle! Two and a half decades ago, Volkswagen introduced the world to a modern-day water-cooled classic that captured hearts with its charming retro design and irresistible personality. This celebration also included a special "Best New Beetle" award to mark the anniversary of this monumental Volkswagen. Funfest for Air-Cooled VW 2023 proved to be a resounding success, capturing the hearts of vintage Volkswagen enthusiasts and leaving them yearning for more. This celebration of VW heritage brought together a diverse community of passionate individuals who reveled in the charm and beauty of these air-cooled marvels.

VW Bug

From the vibrant display of meticulously restored and custom vehicles to the road activities and competitions, live entertainment and seminars, mouthwatering cuisine and treats, and a memorable road tour and parade, the event left an indelible mark on attendees, creating memories that will be cherished for years to come. Funfest for Air-Cooled VW 2023 reaffirmed the enduring allure of these timeless classics and served as a testament to the unwavering passion of their owners. As the engines roared and the festival grounds buzzed with excitement, it became clear that the air-cooled VW culture is alive and thriving, and its community is stronger than ever.