CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — From June 28 - 30, Corvettes of all models will be seen throughout Champaign County as part of the Bloomington Gold Corvette Show.
This premier event will draw more than 30,000 automotive enthusiasts and thousands of Corvettes to celebrate the event’s 40th anniversary at the newly named State Farm Center on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, Ill.
“The mark this show has on Champaign County, for at least the next five years, is unprecedented,” states Jayne DeLuce, president & CEO of Visit Champaign County.
“Between a countywide hotel sell-out and anticipated traffic at our local restaurants and shops, we’re expecting a multi-million dollar economic impact, from visitors nationwide and even internationally.”
The “Granddaddy” of Corvette events made its debut in 1973 and is the longest running national Corvette event of its kind. The event is known for its certification of authentic and restored Corvettes, SurvivorŽ Corvettes, swap meet, Corvette auction, educational seminars, Corvette road tour, and historic Corvettes from special collections.
In addition to the hundreds of exhibitors, automotive vendors, and Chevrolet dealers filling the Gold Market, highlights include the GM Chevrolet Ride and Drive Experience, the GoldAuction, an all Corvette auction by Mecum Auctions, the GoldMine, featuring hundreds of Corvettes for sale, and the GoldSchool educational seminars.
After nearly a decade in St. Charles, Ill., at Pheasant Run Resort, Bloomington Gold makes its return to its roots in Central Illinois.
Guy Larsen, president of Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA explained, “Our customers own Corvettes because they are fun to drive. So we needed a venue that not only served our exhibitors and customers who buy/sell and certify Corvettes, but also a venue that makes it easy and fun to navigate to/from and around the community before, during, and after the show.
“Therefore, we needed a small-town atmosphere with big-town hotels, great facilities, and quick escape routes to miles of country roads. It was an easy decision to come to Champaign.” Special for 2013, Bloomington Gold is honored to host the largest display to date of the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray.
GM engineers will conduct walk-around seminars on the new C7 Corvette, and will be on hand to field questions throughout the weekend.
Chevrolet dealers will also be available to take orders from those wanting to purchase the highly sought after sports car.
The 3-day event is open to the public and parking is free. At the gate, tickets are $20 for one day or $50 for a three-day pass. Children 12 and under are admitted free.
In addition to the exhibition and show at the State Farm Center, the Bloom-ington Gold Corvette Show will once again feature its GoldTour.
Started in 1984, the tour is a highlight of the weekend, showcasing the surrounding community to visiting Corvette owners, while also providing an unofficial parade of Corvettes of all years and styles. The parade will leave the State Farm Center on Saturday evening, following the close of the show at 6 p.m.
An anticipated 1,200 Corvettes will head west on Windsor Road over to Route 10/Springfield Avenue and out to Monticello, where Corvettes will circle the Square.
Corvettes will then be lead back into Champaign, where they will take over the streets of downtown in conjunction with the Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival.
“The GoldTour gives Champaign County and Monticello an opportunity to roll out the red carpet for our guests,” said Cory Hatfield, sports & sales director for Visit Champaign County.
Hatfield has been working with Bloomington Gold staff and representatives from the city of Champaign, the city of Monticello, Champaign and Champaign County police departments, the Champaign Fire Department and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District to create a tour that will be scenic and welcoming.
“What will be most exciting, though, is the final destination in downtown Champaign,” he continued.
“The streets of downtown will be closed for Corvette parking, creating a show in a vibrant part of our community and will be the largest streetfest in Champaign history.”
Residents are encouraged to gather along the GoldTour route to cheer on, welcome and admire the many Corvettes that will be out, including a Corvette that will be shipped to Champaign from Sweden. Streets and public parking lots will be closed starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, for Corvette parking.
Patrons are encouraged to use alternate routes and access additional parking options for enjoying the dynamic atmosphere of downtown Champaign, where there will be live music and entertainment to be enjoyed at the many shops, bars and restaurants.
Information on street closures and available parking lots can be found on the Visit Champaign County website at www.visitchampaigncounty.org/bloomingtongold.
Full details about the event are available online at BloomingtonGold.com or by calling (309) 888-4477.
For more information about the GoldTour, contact Cory Hatfield at (217) 351-4133.