From April to October, the 2012 Season Promises Non-Stop Fun
2012 marks the 39th year in which some of the world’s premier automotive events will be held at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds. What started with a singular swap meet in 1974 has evolved into 12 events, 10 in Carlisle and two more in Auburn, Indiana. These events combined, draw well over half a million enthusiasts from literally all corners of the globe. Along with the automotive fun, the grounds offer family entertainment for adults and children of all ages, a great array of food, industry guests and more. Over time, all that Carlisle stands for has justly earned it the title of America’s Automotive Hometown.
As it has since 1977, Spring Carlisle opens the season, running April 25-29. The five-day event features a swap meet, car corral and two-day auto auction presented by Auctions America by RM. Spring Carlisle provides a one-of-a-kind shopping experience and it’s often said that “if you can’t find it at Carlisle, you didn’t look hard enough.” That adage stems from that fact that over 8,100 sold-out vending spaces are filled with literally millions of pieces and parts for sale. In addition, the car corral boasts over 1,500 vehicles of various makes and models.
Finally, as part of the 2012 edition of Spring Carlisle, the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow engine-build competition returns. The competition, held in 2011 during the GM Nationals, showcases regional high school aged students who are tasked to disassemble and reassemble an engine in a specific manner and under the watchful eye of judges. Thousands of dollars in scholarship money will be available to all participants and the winning Carlisle team earns not only scholarship money, but a trip Las Vegas and the finals at SEMA in November.
Less than two weeks after the conclusion of Spring Carlisle is Performance & Style. The event runs May 12-13 and celebrates a special kind of motorsports lifestyle. At P&S, show goers will enjoy some of the fastest, most tricked out, loudest and individually distinctive cars in the Mid-Atlantic region. The grounds are laced with over 1,500 custom compacts, modern muscle cars, VIP sedans, SUVs and more. In true festival atmosphere style, P&S features music, on-site autocross, stunt shows and a wide variety of activities guaranteed to please the thousands who attend.
Following P&S, the international excitement ramps up with the Import & Kit Nationals, May 18-20 and for the second consecutive year, attendees will have an opportunity to tour the automotive world, all within the confines of the fairgrounds. Enthusiasts will be handed a passport style insert along with their free event directory and from there they can get their booklets stamped in an effort to win prizes, including free access for the 2013 event. Further, the walk around the grounds will no doubt build an appetite. Because of that, international food will once again be served in conjunction with the countries represented. As is the case during many events at Carlisle, special features and industry guests will be on site. These include a unique display of Italian cars, autocross, the designer of the Deserter; Alex Dearborn, Bruce Meyers and a one-of-a-kind teen driving school.
A downtown parade, Mustangs, Fords of all types, a world record attempt, industry guests and so much more - that is what Blue Oval fanatics will find as part of the 18th Ford Nationals, June 1-3. The 50th anniversary of Carroll Shelby’s namesake will be featured as part of the event and Shelby owners and fanatics alike are encouraged to be part of the weekend. The Ford Nationals will be highlighted by the Downtown Carlisle Parade and Party. The parade will see Fords spanning generations roll from the fairgrounds to the square in downtown Carlisle. At that point, participants will park their cars as revelers mingle with them and live music plays in the background. Local businesses will be open as well for shopping and dining.
The GM Nationals, June 22-24, marks the mid-point of the Carlisle-based schedule. As part of GM in 2012, Cacklefest returns. Cacklefest features legendary drag racer Bruce Larson and showcases the world of fuel racing. Through a Carlisle Events’ contest, select enthusiasts will win a seat in Larson’s USA-1 Camaro or Corvette as Bruce helps them through the warm-up process. The result is breathtaking. Also, the weekend will feature Monster Truck excitement and for the first time, a Friday night Blues and BBQ celebration. Beginning Friday (June 22) at 4 p.m., musical acts will take the stage and play into the evening hours. At the same time, beverages and BBQ will be served. The GM Nationals is also the home of Camaros at Carlisle and will showcase some of the best from the brand, both modern and historic.
The Chrysler Nationals begin the back half of the annual schedule, running July 6-8. In a celebration of “everything Mopar,” thousands of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and AMC products will line the grounds, meticulously interwoven with car clubs and one-of-a-kind displays. A Super Bird feature is expected to draw a crowd as will three very special guests. On Sunday only, NASCAR legend Richard Petty will be on hand. Petty will sign autographs and meet fans for a limited time, while sharing stories of his life behind the wheel. Joining Petty at Carlisle, and for the entire weekend, will be two stars from the Dukes of Hazzard. The Chrysler Nationals welcomes for the first time, Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke) and Ben Jones (Cooter). Like Petty, each will sign autographs, share stories and pose for photos with their fans. Chrysler will also feature a hemi engine giveaway, drag racing at Quarter Aces Drag-O-Way, burnouts, beauty and more.
Bike Fest is up next on the schedule, July 20-22, and open air enthusiasts will be enjoy a weekend filled with bikes, industry representation, demo rides, giveaways and an unmatched camaraderie within the hobby. The highlight of the weekend, as it is during most Bike Fest events, is the free demo rides. In a setting not made available at a dealership, riders can check out the latest bikes from their favorite brand and in a guided setting, ride off grounds to get a true feel for what they might want to purchase. In addition, Carlisle Events anticipates at least one motorcycle giveaway and a shopping experience via brands like Kuryakyn and Appalachian Harley Davidson that is anticipated by those who return year after year. Special guests will include the StarBoyz Motorcycle Stunt Team, Country Kids Jamboree, iWheelie.com and live music throughout the weekend.
As the Carlisle Truck Nationals open the month of August, Monster Truck power will reign supreme at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds. Adults and children alike will revel in the excitement as the legendary Big Foot truck comes to Carlisle. Joining Big Foot will be Backdraft. These two trucks will be in action, crushing cars, revving their engines and creating a “wow factor” that trucks of their size are known for. In addition to these trucks, Virginia Giant returns to offer rides for enthusiasts young and old and Megasauras is back by popular demand. This machine transforms, breathes fire, chews cars up and spits them out. Additional activities at the Truck Nationals include a “Man Cave” style display, club challenge, drop and drag competition, a van display that will be enjoyed by thousands and the ever-popular Big Rig Show & Shine. During the big rig portion of the event, trucks on display will range from just off the road haulers to some of the best customized rides in the region. Included in this display will be at least four trucks from the Clarion County Career Center, a school where high school students customize and modify rigs of all styles.
It’s a Blue Redux during Corvettes at Carlisle in 2012. The event aims to showcase Carlisle Blue once more, as the color has been retired and production on 2012 models has come to a close. Any Carlisle Blue car owner is entitled to free Fun Field access for as long as they own the car and it’s anticipated that a special Carlisle Blue area will be designated on the grounds for fans to enjoy throughout the weekend. Corvettes at Carlisle will also feature an additional parade in 2012. In addition to the annual and ever-popular Downtown Parade and Party Saturday and Sunday’s awards parade, a special Friday awards parade will take place. This Friday parade is designated to recognize award winners from 2011 who were forced to miss their moment in the sun by the Sunday wash out following Hurricane Irene. A 50th Anniversary display will also take place. This display will feature a great array of Corvettes from 1962. Additional components of the event include autocross, swap meet, car corral, beauty contest, industry guests including the minds behind the brand, a special Corvette diagnostic session with proceeds benefitting the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation and a great array of family activities.
Fall Carlisle, wraps the 2012 season and takes place October 3-7. The collector car swap meet, car corral and two-day auto auction, presented by Auctions America by RM will provide one final event in 2012 for enthusiasts to buy, sell and trade all things automotive. Historically, Fall Carlisle sells out from a vendor stand point and the auction will see hundreds of cars cross the block. Attendees are encouraged to consign now for a prime spot in this year’s auction or register to be part of the event.
For the second straight year, a pair of co-branded events will take place in Auburn, Indiana. The partnership between Carlisle Events and Auctions America by RM sees Auburn Spring and Auburn Fall take place at the Auburn Auction Park in Auburn, Indiana. These events include a three-day auction, car corral and swap meet.
Carlisle Events offers various ways to experience a show at a reasonable price and in some cases, get up close and personal with the action. Most events on the 2012 schedule will feature unprecedented access through the Gate-N-Go showfield registration program. Gate-N-Go will allow you to save time and money. When you pre-register, you save $10 off the standard registration price. Enjoy the VIP treatment of driving straight to Gate 3. Once you drive through the main gate, you will be guided to your designated parking area. Check your desired show for pre-registration deadlines and details. No matter what event you attend or participate in, you will find safe, family friendly entertainment for show-goers of all ages. To participate in a show or to simply attend, contact Carlisle Events today!