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Herbie's 50 Year Anniversary In Florida

March 15-17, 2019
What and When...

The answer to the second question "When" is now set for March 15-17, 2019.  We are doing it on these dates so that we can be part of one of the largest VW car shows in the Southeast, The Lakeland VW Classic.  This show is actually a two day show but Sunday the 17th is dedicated to all classes including Herbie.  Most everyone surveyed so far likes this idea and the individuals responsible for the show want to dedicate the day to celebrating Herbie's 50 year anniversary.

So what can you expect during this 3 day weekend?  This one is a little harder since formal plans are still being worked on, but here is a glimpse to what you can expect.

First of all, most everyone likes the idea of a cruise with the cars of some type while they are here.  We originally were looking at including Daytona Beach and Sebring Florida as part of this but since then, we have found out that our event is happening the same week as Bike Week and the 12 Hours at Sebring, both of which will tie up those locations and make it impossible to get rooms, find places to eat, etc..

So a number of options have been looked at.  First of all, we would like to point out that people coming from around the US have expressed interest in having Herbie caravans as they travel.  A quick look at the map showing where individuals are coming from make that look like a great idea.  It's still a little early to start trying to put people together, but if you are close to one of the main routes coming into Florida, we would suggest that you make your intentions known on the Facebook page.

Click on any image to enlarge...


The following is an overview of what we have been talking about/planning.  Yes, it's a little early to know all the details, but it gives you a pretty good idea.

Thursday, March 14

The idea of meeting at a place like Silver Springs in Ocala Florida and cruising to Orlando together on Thursday, will take a lot of coordination but is possible.  Nothing formal, but if those who would like to meet and use this as time to get acquainted, we could stop at Big Daddy Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing which is along the way to Orlando for a short tour, grab us something to eat after we leave his place, and then continue on South to our destinations.  Potential routes for this short cruise is shown below.

Ocala to Clermont   Clermont to Walt Disney World


Friday, March 15

Some families may choose to use this as their time to visit the parks of Walt Disney although this time of year is usually very, very busy with extremely long wait times for all the rides.  If you have never visited Disney before, now might be a good time, however, we are also looking at the formal cruise for the event this same day for those who want to get out and show their cars off around Florida and simply get some great photo/video ops along the way.  Again, there's a lot going on at this time in Florida, so we are now thinking that the West Coast around Tampa/St. Pete might be the answer. 

One of the most beautiful places in Florida is the Sunshine Skyway Bridge which connects St. Petersburg with South Florida.  There are plenty of beach front areas in the area that would be great backdrops for picture taking along with fine restaurants and/or park areas where we could have a great picnic along the way, not to mention just the thrill of going over the bridge with 25-30 Herbie's.  Since traffic going and coming from St. Pete can get really messy, we are looking at times when there may be less congestion and plan on staying on I-4 traveling at low highway speeds (53-55mph) with support vehicles front and aft of the caravan for safety reasons, to take pictures, filming, etc..  The time to St. Pete would be around 2 hours, we could then stop for a picnic lunch (carried by the support vehicles), followed by a run over the bridge and then back to Orlando/Walt Disney.  An additional stop might be The Tampa Bay Auto Museum which is really cool and inexpensive if enough individuals would like to do so. 

So what would it look like.  Well, the map below shows a route that we have already checked out and seems to be the least challenging as far as traffic and stop and go traffic. 

Saturday, March 16.

This day is probably the most up in the air.  We are in process of trying to convince Disney to do something special for us but with the seasonal crowds and past experience, we are not sure how this will work out.  One thing for sure, we will meet at Disney and we will be cruising around the parks for photo ops, etc..  Also, as you will read in the Guest Star Appearance section, we are doing our best to get Joaquin Garay III from Herbie Goes Bananas to join us on Saturday as much as he can for photo ops, autographs, etc..  These details will begin to take shape as we move forward but the day will not stop there.

That afternoon/evening, we are trying to get one of our favorite cruise locations, Old Town of Kissimmee, to allow us to participate in their classic car cruise that evening at 8:30.  However, we do have a potential issue here in that they have and maintain the same rules that they have for over 25 years in that the cars must be 1979 or older on Saturday nights.  Now that would be no issue for most of our cars, but for the new models, they would not be allowed to cruise with the other cruisers.  Hopefully that would not be a show stopper for everyone, in that those with new Herbie's hopefully could cruise in someone else's car if desired.  The beautiful part of Old Town is that it is only located a couple of miles from Disney and people from around the world come in just to see the cars. They line up 4 and 5 deep along the 1/8th mile plus stretch of brick road just to appreciate and applaud the cars as they go by.  In addition, it's free, has plenty of restaurants, shops, entertainment, etc. to keep everyone busy including he children.

After the cruise, we are still looking for the appropriate location where a large outdoor screen could be set up and a showing of The Love Bug could be played along with all the cars parked around.  The showing of the movie would be no cost and we plan on having popcorn and drinks available.



Sunday, March 17.

The final day of the event will be held in Lakeland Florida, approx. 45min south of Disney, at the

13th Annual Lakeland VW Classic.  The gates open at 6am and the show usually ends around 5pm on this day when trophies/plagues are awarded, a FREE Sand Rail is given away along with plenty of other great items.  The show is really great and there is plenty for everyone to do including the children. 


Well, that's about it for now.  If you have any suggestions on the above, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can consider them in our planning...