World’s Longest Jeep Parade
The Guinness World Records Longest Jeep Parade was set at the first annual Bantam Jeep Festival in August 2011. Jeeps traveled by decade, along a three-mile parade route before parking on Butler, Pennsylvania’s Main Street for a cruise. The official record states 1,106 jeeps participated in the parade.
They came from all over – Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, the corners of Pennsylvania and more. There even were journalists there from Australia.
And everyone in Butler County, it seemed, came out to welcome these guests to their community.
It was the Jeep Parade, the kick-off event for the Bantam Heritage Jeep Festival going on last August 2011. Butler, Pennsylvania’s, mayor estimated there were 35,000 people at the event. The festival honored the 70th anniversary of Bantam Jeep, which was created in Butler.
Famous for its role in World War II, the iconic vehicle has become a favorite with today’s drivers. The Jeep brand has also evolved into a whole line of cars – Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, and Jeep Compass, to name a few – that were evident in the parade in August.
The Jeeps started arriving about 1 p.m., and the line never stopped. Hundreds of Jeeps lined the parking lot of butler Community College as the vehicle owners visited each other and shared Jeep stories. The Jeeps were divided by decade, starting with the 1940s, up to a few that looked like they could have been driven right out Safford Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Fredericksburg‘s showroom.
For the parade to be an official Guinness event, each Jeep owner had to supply car registration, driver’s license, and a photo of each car. Official Guinness representatives counted the vehicles as they passed by, and a representative witnessed the parade at the grandstand in Butler.
But there was more to the Jeep festival then just the parade – one exciting event was the Canadian Jiffy Jeep Tear Down. This involved a group of Canadian drivers who drove their Jeep in front of the grandstand, jumped out, took the car apart, then reassembled it and drove away. Take a look below as the Jiffy Jeep Crew completely tears down and rebuilds their Jeep in under 4 minutes at the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival, compliments of BDS Suspension…
Some other fun events for Jeep owners at the festival included events such as the Show ‘n Shine, the Jeep Playground, and either an on-site trail ride or a trek through the Moraine State Park trail.
The Show ‘n Shine had several categories, ranging from historic restorations to heavily modified vehicles. Attendees could also visit the Jeep Brand History Exhibit to learn about past vehicles and heritage of the brand. In addition, there were exhibits for WWII-era Willys vehicles.
Owners could choose to take their vehicles on two different trail rides, one through the on-site trail that featured a short trip with a few muddy obstacles to tackle, and the other a ride through the Moraine State Park, this year marking the first time the park has been open to festival attendees.
To fully test out the capability of their Jeep vehicles, owners could take them through the Jeep 4×4 Playground, which featured several rock formations, hills, log stacks, and last but certainly not least, a large mud pit that bettered most of the vehicles that attempted the challenge.
All in all, this festival personified the spirit of the Jeep brand lifestyle and enthusiasts; fun, family and a great bunch of people gathered around due to their enthusiasm for Jeep vehicles.
Don’t worry if you missed 2011….the 2012 Bantam Jeep Festival is only 190 days away….just enough time to polish your tiara!
Safford Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Fredericksburg always maintains competitive new and pre-owned inventories of your favorite Jeep vehicles. Staffed with experience sales representatives and top trained technicians, we’re here to provide a fun, easy and valuable automotive shopping and service experience. Stop by our dealership today at 5202 Jefferson Davis Hwy to see for yourself!