CARLISLE, PA - The 33rd edition of Corvettes at Carlisle, presented by Corvette America, was one of the all-time greats, coming in as the second biggest Fun Field in event history. The elegance of the Corvette was perfectly showcased with picturesque weather and more than 50,000 guests from as far away as New Zealand. Special displays and celebrity guests were both a large draw for the crowd and this event also marked the final specialty event for the 2015 Carlisle Events season.
Corvettes at Carlisle is technically a three-day event, but guests were arriving onsite as early as Tuesday. Thursday might as well be the new Friday for Corvette lovers at Carlisle, as the Fun Field was almost full and the gates saw a good amount of action. The main event taking place on Friday was the American Flag display made out of 200+ Corvettes, which took just over two hours to construct. The display returned to Carlisle for the first time since 2010 and was the perfect addition to the Salute to Service theme. To complement the display, a special swearing-in ceremony, oath reaffirmation and Veteran's tribute took place on the main stage in front of a packed grandstand. The ceremony concluded by remembering the fallen with a playing of Taps, followed by the theme songs for each branch of the military.
The main stage was also the location for the recognition of the new Beauty and the Beast Facebook competition, in which eight contestants competed against each other over the weeks leading up to the show to see which woman could receive the most "likes" on a photo of her and her Corvette. This was a popular contest among the ladies of the Corvette hobby, drawing copious votes for all contestants. The contest was so popular in fact, that it just may return as part of the 2016 schedule of events. Seminars were also a hot draw, including ones based on what modern oils do to classic Corvettes, repair themed sessions with Paul Koerner from The Corvette Mechanic and more. As Friday wrapped it did so with the burnout contest. This year, three Corvettes showed their power, again in front of a packed grandstand.
Saturday mimicked Friday in terms of great turn-out and plentiful seminars, with the addition of a special celebrity appearance by Chip Foose, who is an automotive designer and TV host. He was set up inside the Magnaflow paddock and held two autograph sessions throughout the day, with lines of eager guests a football field in length throughout the day.
Downtown Carlisle was crawling with Corvettes Saturday night, as the ever-popular parade took place until 9:30pm. The Salute to Service theme carried onto the parade, with a military theme leading the 450+ Corvettes into town. That 450+ number was also of significance because it was the largest downtown Corvette parade to date as the annual Saturday night event celebrated 25 years.
The annual Chip's Choice display took a unique turn this year, as Corvettes were not only chosen for their appearance, but also for their owner's story. Nine men were chosen for the display located inside Building T, and each of those men have served in the military, fire, or police department. Three more special displays brought to the fairgrounds this year were the 20 vehicle 1965 Corvette anniversary, the NCRS gallery located inside Building G and the 1964/1965 World's Fair cutaway Corvette and engine.
All told, the weekend was an amazing experience for guests and staff alike. By the time the cars rolled off site Sunday, nearly three dozen car owners had reregistered for 2016's show. Speaking of which, the 2016 edition of Corvettes at Carlisle is on the schedule for August 26-28. Make plans now to be part of the show!
Carlisle Events is a partner or producer of 13 annual collector car and truck events. Events are held at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds (Carlisle, PA), Bloomsburg Fairgrounds (Bloomsburg, PA), Allentown Fairgrounds (Allentown, PA) and the Sun n' Fun Complex (Lakeland, FL). The season schedule includes five automotive swap meets of varying size, four auctions, as well as individual specialty shows featuring Corvettes, Fords, GMs, Chryslers, trucks, imports and kit cars and tuner and modern customs. Founded in 1974 by friends Bill Miller and Chip Miller, events hosted at Carlisle attract more than a half a million enthusiasts annually from all corners of the globe. More information is available via www.CarlisleEvents.com or www.CarlisleAuctions.com.