Making the trip from Colorado out to Pennsylvania for the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival is always interesting, and this year proved to be no different. The weather has been a real challenge all across the country this season. When we attended this event for the first time last year…it rained…a lot! So all we hoped for was some drier weather and to leave some of the Colorado snow behind…
With lots of snow in the mountains of Colorado, we kept our fingers crossed and hoped for some warm sun!
We had heard that there was quite a bit of flooding taking place in the midwest, especially along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers…and the reports were not exaggerated. We saw lots of flooded land. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have had to deal with the damaging waters.
We knew we were on the right road and headed in the right direction! Like Ohio says, “find it here”…
I’m not sure why, but I have always been intrigued by things “industrial”. Maybe it’s because we don’t have anything like this in Western Colorado. Maybe its because the sheer size of the structures are amazing to me. Maybe it’s both. While some folks may think these power plants are ugly and are just eye sores…next time you turn on your lights, be thankful that they exist. I think they are impressive.
We continued to push our way East, having crossed Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia, with just a short way to go before crossing into Pennsylvania.
And after 4 days of driving…BAM! Or Bantam!
We rolled into the Butler, Pennsylvania area to clear skies! The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival is a 3+ day event…all Jeeps…all day, every day! Jeeps began rolling in for the 9th Annual Jeep festival which takes place at the Cooper’s Lake Campground.
The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival is a tribute event for the father of all jeeps, the history behind it, the people who created it, and its birthplace, Butler Pennsylvania.
The event provides Jeep enthusiasts with on and off-road experiences to embrace the vehicle’s past and the lifestyle it now promotes. Every year on the second weekend of June, the Festival invited participants to it’s on-site off-road trails, a playground with obstacles, an amazing Jeep History exhibit, and of course a huge vendor area with 150+ companies and more!
The Festival began in 2011 with just over 1,000 Jeeps and set the Guinness World Record for the Largest Jeep Parade that same year. Now, in it’s fifth year, it broke that record when it welcomed 2,420 registered Jeeps to downtown Butler.
In 2018, nearly 2,400 Jeeps from 30 states and Canada attended with an additional 15,000 spectators joining them over the three-day event. More than 125+ vendors selling Jeep and off-road related items sell products during the event as well. In the course of its eight years, the Festival has grown to include something for every Jeep enthusiast whether their interests are off-roading, history, military Jeeps, showing off their vehicles or simply enjoying the Jeep lifestyle.
On Friday night downtown Butler closes down for over a thousand jeeps to park on Main St. for a show and shine to show off our jeep. You must pre-register to park for the spots on the street and they allow 1200 jeeps to register. Thousands of people walk down and check out the jeeps while there are dj’s and activities. This is an awesome sight to behold and be a part of. This was the first year we got to participate in this main street invasion. I have to say it was a blast! I have always seen pictures but its something amazing to actually participate in.
The rest of the event is packed with everything from off road guided trails to obstacle course to mud pits! One of my favorite attractions of this event is the Jeep Heritage building, it is packed with old pristine jeeps of all kinds! They also have banners for everyone to sign and they get hung on the wall for each year to come.
The “Junk Yard” swap meet is there too with any parts imaginable for sale from old grills down to vintage scale jeeps. Venders line the rows with products and awesome jeep builds on display.
If you ever get a chance to go we highly recommend it! You will never see as many nice jeeps on display as you will at this show! I mean…when was the last time you saw a D-Ring?
This year we even had a few spare moments to spend with our friend Tom Trotter that put together this great video of the CTI Trailer showcasing the “CTI Trailer Jeep Dance”!
We are already looking forward to next year’s Festival and I’m guess that NEW attendance records will be created!