Every year we attend Mid America Motorworks' Funfest, we're struck by the volume of Corvette owners who converge at the event held in Effingham, Illinois. While a pleasant enough place to visit, the town isn't exactly on the tip of every tourist's tongue as a destination. So obviously Mike Yager, Mid America's self-described "Chief Cheerleader," is doing something right to pull in some 17,000 Corvettes and 45,000 enthusiasts during the four-day celebration in mid September. We know people aren't driving all that way just to check out the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (though we confess to taking a quick peek inside to see what's really inside that sausage casing).
As for obvious draws, we could point to all the displays of both collectible and customized Corvettes, along with festivities such as rock-star performances by ex-Eagle Don Felder. And to be sure, a lot of Vette owners hope to take home a trophy from the Winners Corral in recognition of their prized rides.
But at the end of the day, some of the biggest attractions are under the tent. Well, actually two tents, because Funfest now has a tent-like Install Dome erected just for attendees to enhance their cars, along with another dome for obtaining all sorts of Corvette-themed goodies. While the weather was mercifully cooler than usual this year, these temporary structures provide protected areas for Corvette owners to pander to their automotive passion. Who can blame them? When you drive America's sports car, it deserves nothing less than the best, along with all the apparel and accessories touting that fact.
So we decided to highlight in the accompanying photos not only the cool-looking Corvettes at Funfest 2011, but also all the upgrades and embellishments that keep people coming back to the event year after year. You might spy just what you're looking for hereùand if not, you can always visit Funfest next year.
Speaking of upcoming events, the 2012 Funfest, to be held September 14-16, will honor the 50th anniversary of the '63 Sting Ray, with a particular focus on one of the most venerated Vettes of all time, the Split Window Coupe. So we're looking forward to even more Corvette excitement under the Big Tops.