“It started out as just a very simple, little get-together of Corvette enthusiast,” said Alan Brandhofer, Public Relations Director for Free State Corvette Club.
Over the years, it’s become increasingly popular to the point that approximately 700 Corvettes and 1,200 people are expected to participate this year, he said.
Corvette Weekend begins today at the Clarion Resort Hotel on 101st Street, where vendors will be selling an assortment of items and participants can purchase 50/50 raffle tickets and Corvette Weekend apparel. Late registrants can sign up for Corvette Weekend activities from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A welcome party kicks of the weekend’s activities from 7-11 p.m. in the Clarion’s Crystal Ballroom, where there will be live music by Comfort Zone, dancing, door prizes, raffles, food for sale and a cash bar.
Saturday morning, late registration continues at the inlet parking lot from 7:30-10 a.m., though those participating in the Fun Car Show and Rallye need to register before 8:30 a.m.
Cars will begin lining up for the Fun Show at 7:30 a.m., with judging slated to begin at 9:45 a.m. There will be three National Council of Corvette Clubs-sanctioned car shows running simultaneously: the Single Fun Show, Spina Bifida Fun Show and Celebrity Judge Fun Show.
In the first, show participants determine the winners by voting for their favorite Corvettes. Members of 10 families selected through the Spina Biffida Association of Maryland, the Free State Corvette Club’s charity of choice, judge the Spina Bifida Show and the Celebrity Judge show is decided by local “celebrities,” which has included the mayor in the past.
The cost is $20 for the single fun show, $25 for the celebrity judge fun show, $20 for the single and spina bifida fun shows, $45 for the single and celebrity judge fun shows, or $50 to participate in all three.
There will also be four NCCC-sanctioned Rallyes on Saturday, running simultaneously: a Single, Double, Triple and Quadruple rallye.
“It’s not a race,” Brandhofer said. “You’re going to go out and go on a 50-plus mile journey along the Ocean City area” hitting checkpoints along the way.
The Single Rallye will be a Poker Rallye, with the high hand winning. The Double Rallye includes the Poker Rallye plus a Scrabble Rallye. The Triple Rallye combines the Poker and Scrabble rallyes with a Poker Low Rallye. The Quadruple Rallye, for drivers more experience in similar events, includes the Poker, Scrabble and Poker Low rallyes plus the Gimmick (picture) Rallye.
All drivers will need a valid driver’s license at the sign-in and children must be at least 9 years old to navigate in the rallyes. There will be trophies awarded for each rallye at the awards presentation Saturday night.
Rallye check in in is from 7:30-9 a.m. Saturday. There is a drivers’ meeting at 9:15 a.m. in the Rallye tent and cars begin leaving at 9:45 a.m.
The Rallyes cost $20 for the Poker – High Hand, $30 for the Poker – High Hand plus Scrabble, $40 for the Poker – High Hand plus Scrabble plus Poker – Low, and $50 for the Poker – High Hand plus Scrabble plus Poker – Low plus Gimmick.
At 4 p.m., the Boardwalk parade of Corvettes begins. About 700 cars are expected to drive up the Boardwalk, starting at the inlet, Brandhofer said.
“We consider the Boardwalk parade to be the crown jewel of the event,” he said. “We have cars that are coming from Canada to Florida. People come down because they want the experience of driving their Corvettes along with the 700 other cars, past the Boardwalk and hotels with people cheering.”
Staging for the parade begins at 1 p.m. at the Inlet. Cars already parked in there for the Fun Shows will be first to stage for the parade.
There will be vendors at the Inlet from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
At night, there will be a party and awards ceremony back at the Clarion Resort. The ceremony will start at 8 p.m. and there will be raffles, drawings and a cash bar at the Corvette Weekend wrap-up.
Proceeds from Corvette Weekend sponsor the Spina Bifida Association of Maryland, which helps families of children with the disease by providing financial assistance, education and group activities, as well as other Maryland charities.
Since it began 26 years ago, the event has raised over $600,000 for the groups.
With more than 500 Corvettes and 900 people pre-registered for the weekend, “we’re hoping to have a great turnout,” Brandhofer said.
Anyone with a Corvette is welcome to register for the 27th annual Corvette Weekend. Participants do not need to be a National Council of Corvette Clubs member or belong to the Free State Corvette Club.
All Corvette Weekend events require participants to have a wristband, purchased at registration for $40 per adult or $8 for each child under 12 years old.
For more information, visit www.corvetteweekend.com.
The public is welcome to view the car show at the Inlet and Boardwalk parade on Saturday.