One of the area’s largest car shows kicks off this weekend.
The 28th annual Florida Bug Jam is slated for Nov. 12 and Nov. 13 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52 in Dade City.
The two-day event is regarded as the Southeast’s largest Volkswagen (VW) car show.
More than 720 VW entries, 200 vendors and about 12,000 spectators are expected.
Saturday’s highlights include a 40-mile poker run through the back roads and rolling hills of Pasco County, as well as a traditional VW Pre-Jam Parade through downtown Dade City.
“The parade that goes downtown has over 200 cars,” said Randy Yoho, owner and promoter of the Florida Bug Jam. “We pretty much do a mini car show there, with some music.”
Another activity —“Bugs on the Track”— is also on the Saturday schedule. It allows VW enthusiasts to ride through a dune-style, off-road course that consists of multiple obstacles and rhythm sections.
Meanwhile, live music from the likes of the Caribbean Chillers and the Boogie Brothers will be featured at the fairgrounds throughout the day.
The Bug Jam’s main event — the VW Car Show and Swap Meet — begins on Sunday.
Over 60 different classes of Volkswagens will be viewed and judged throughout the show, Yoho said.
“We’ll have the Karmann Ghia, the Dune Buggy, the buses — everything Volkswagen,” Yoho said.
This year’s event theme is Marvel. Capitalizing on the popularity of the comic superhero franchise, the show will feature a Marvel character look-a-like contest.
“We try to pick a theme every year, and Marvel is seen to be kind of ‘in’ this year,” Yoho said.
The Bug Jam first began in 1989 in Land O’ Lakes. The event moved to Dade City in 1997.
Yoho, who also operates the Dade City Motocross at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, took over the car show two years ago from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Association.
“It basically just got to be too big of an event for their volunteer group to run,” Yoho explained. “It was kind of a perfect fit since we’re at the fairgrounds with the motorcycle track anyway.”
Gates open for spectators at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 per day, and $15 for both days if you have a car in the show.
Admission is free for children ages 10 and under who bring a can of food to benefit Feeding America Suncoast Food Bank. Parking fees are $5.
For information, visit FloridaBugJam.com.
Published November 9, 2016