What do you do in the summer when you want to travel with your Jeep and family, do some wheeling, and attend the biggest Jeep Fest in the nation? You go to Butler, Pennsylvania, for the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival, of course! We’ve attended for two years now and plan to make it for a third year on Father’s Day weekend, June 13-16, 2013. This year’s event will be held just out of town, the venue promises to be more jeep-friendly, with more trails and room for growth, and will even allow dogs and their families to attend.
By now most 4x4 aficionados know that the jeep was originally developed by the Bantam Car Company of Butler way back in 1940. Of course, things didn’t work out too well for Bantam when Willys and Ford won the final contract for the jeep, and the ensuing years are history. That is, until the Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau teamed up with the Butler County Historical Society to create an event to pay homage to the city where it all started. What they didn’t realize was how big a deal they were creating and how fast and large it would grow. The most recent event hosted 30,000 people over three days, with 1,500 registered participants from 25 states.
With a combination of parades, exhibitions, show ’n’ shines, and off-road venues, the Heritage Festival had something for everyone. The June event promises to be bigger and better, with the addition of more trails that promise to be harder and longer for those that have the Jeep to handle them. Registration is open for the 2013 event at www.bantamjeepfestival.com and promises to be the best Jeep Fest ever.
Jeep Across America
This year we were fortunate to be on our Jeep Across America tour, where Editor-in-Chief Rick Péwé drove his bone-stock WWII jeep across the country and back, stopping at various venues along the way. Sponsored by Omix-Ada, the world’s largest replacement Jeep parts company, the trip started in Tempe, Arizona, cruised to the Rubicon Trail for the 60th annual Jeepers Jamboree, and then to the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler, Pennsylvania. From there Rick travelled up to Nova Scotia, Canada, and down to Georgia where Omix-Ada is located. After a few more spare parts were stocked up, the trip ended up back in Arizona before going to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Having returned home from Vegas to Southern California, Rick still needs to put 400 more miles on the jeep to make the trip an even 10,000 miles. Any ideas?