The 28th annual Camaro Superfest returns to Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park from July 5 to 7. The event, organized by the Eastern Michigan Camaro Club, is the largest and longest-running all-Camaro car show in the nation.
Each year, the show draws thousands of people from all over the country. Some even drive or trailer their Camaros from as far as Quebec, Canada.
According to Barry Hensel, chairman for the Camaro Superfest, there are typically over 400 Camaros registered for the event. More than 230 have already preregistered for this year.
“We are somewhat of a unique event,” Hensel said. “There are hundreds of millions of car events in the country, but we concentrate only on one car — the Chevrolet Camaro. So that sets us apart a little bit.
“We still do most of the regular car show type stuff. We have judging available, and we’ll give out awards on Sunday. We get donations, not only from our sponsors, but other businesses, and we give away door prizes and goodie bags.”
Hensel said Friday has always been a special day for pre-registered participants.
“We’ve done various things from going to auto museums to auto collections,” he said. “A big draw for us this year is that we’re going to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn to drive our cars around the race track. It’s special because not everyone can drive their car on a major racetrack.”
On Saturday night, registered participants will also get to visit an exclusive car collection that is not open to the public.
“We go to the Lingenfelter Collection located in Brighton,” Hensel said. “It’s a private collection of cars. There’s everything from Ferrari’s to Corvettes to Camaros.”
In addition to being a weekend of fun for Camaro lovers, the goal of the event is to raise money for a charity. The charity of choice this year is The Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund that helps assist Michigan-based soldiers and their families. Hensel said the goal for this year’s event is to raise $18,000.
Every year there are a number of sponsors that help to ensure the success of the event. For the first time in the history of the Camaro Superfest, the city will co-sponsor the event by agreeing to fix the internal road that runs through Riverside Park. The main concern was the large potholes that fill up and retain water.
“I’m sure everyone that attends not only our event, but all the other car events that happen at Riverside, roll their eyes and go, ‘Why isn’t this fixed?’ Hensel said. “You’re there for the day or in our case, the weekend, so to have to drive around that, it definitely puts a little bummer on it.”
At the city council meeting May 20, council members voted to co-sponsor the event by fixing the road, therefore becoming a gold status sponsor.
“There’s different levels of sponsorship,” Hensel said. “There’s bronze, silver and gold; valued at $500, $1,000 and $2,000. Some sponsors are giving us direct money. Other sponsors are a barter type deal, which is what we’ve done with the city. The city is getting granted a gold status, but they’re not giving us $2,000, they’re going to fix the road … We’re very happy with that.”
For spectators, entry to the Camaro Superfest is donation based. There is a $20 fee for Camaro owners wanting to register their car for the event. For those looking to have their Camaro judged there will be a $30 fee.
Hensel encouraged all to attend the event.
“We’re here to have fun and give back through our charity efforts,” Hensel said. “If you’re a Camaro owner, by all means bring your car. A lot say, ‘Oh it’s not a show car. It’s not show-worthy.’ Yes it is. If you’re a Camaro owner and you come as a spectator you will regret not bringing your car. We’re happy to have everyone.”
For more information or to register, visit http://www.camarosuperfest.com/.