(Oct. 3, 2014) From a handful of Corvette buffs to hundreds of owners devoted to the sports car, the Free State Corvette Club’s Corvette Weekend has grown in the past 28 years.
The event is back in Ocean City today and tomorrow with shows, rallyes and a massive Boardwalk parade of cars. There will be events for paying participants and the public to attend for free.
“It started out as just a one-day event 28 years ago and was a bunch of people coming together, coming down there and raising a little bit of money for charity,” said Alan Brandhofer, registration chairman for the event. “Over the years, we’ve grown to getting 700-plus cars and 1,200-plus participants.”
Events begin this morning at Corvette Weekend headquarters in the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel on 101st Street, where around 20 vendors will sell apparel and other Corvette wares all day.
Tonight, a welcome party kicks off in the Clarion’s Crystal Ballroom upstairs with live music and a cash bar from 7-11 p.m. A buffet dinner is available at an additional cost, though diners must sign up for the dinner in advance during registration.
The show moves to the inlet Saturday morning, where the public can view Corvettes “from the ’50s to 2014” in the inlet lot, Brandhofer said. There will be three shows, car rallyes and the Corvette Boardwalk parade throughout the day, as well as vendors selling “everything from jewelry to Corvette apparel” and with large displays, he said.
The spectacle begins at 7:30 a.m. when Corvette owners will polish their cars for three shows: one judged by other Corvette Weekend participants; one by children from the Spina Bifida Association of Maryland, the FSCC’s major charity; and one by celebrity representatives from General Motors.
Meanwhile, several rallyes will launch from the inlet Saturday morning, taking drivers and their navigators on a 50-plus-mile drive away from Ocean City in search of answers to questions, poker run cards, and scrabble tiles for various contests.
The highlight event, however, is a 700-Corvette parade that will travel north up the Boardwalk from the inlet starting at 4 p.m. Saturday. Crowds will line the boards from the southern tip north for the hour-long parade.
At night, the cars will cruise back uptown for a wrap-up ceremony at the Clarion, where winners of the shows and rallyes will receive awards. A cash bar will be open and a buffet dinner available for an additional fee, though diners must sign up for the dinner in advance during registration.
Corvette Weekend benefits several charities, including the Spina Bifida Association of Maryland. Over the years, the Ocean City show has helped the group raise more than $600,000 for children with the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States and their families, Brandhofer said.
Those who have not pre-registered for Corvette Weekend can visit the late registration table in the Clarion today from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. to sign up for the parade, shows and rallyes. Latecomers can still sign up for the parade at the inlet parking lot downtown from 7:30-10 a.m. or 1-4 p.m. tomorrow.
Late registration costs $40 for adults and $8 for children under 12. Addition costs apply for the Fun Shows, rallyes and buffet dinners. The Boardwalk parade is included with registration.
Participants do not need to be members of the FSCC or another club to take part in Corvette Weekend.
For more information, visit www.corvetteweekend.com. Follow the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CorvetteWeekend or under the Twitter handle @CorvetteWeekend.