Vette fest stays in city

Angie Faller
Effingham Daily News


Mid America Motorworks’ annual Corvette FunFest will remain in Effingham this year, a Mid America spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The 16th annual Corvette FunFest will be held Sept. 25-27 and will celebrate both the 35th anniversary of Mid America and owner Mike Yager’s 60th birthday.

Yager said in 2008 he was considering moving the event away from Effingham and had received offers from Indianapolis and the state of Indiana to bring the event there.

Yager could not be reached for comment by presstime.

Effingham city officials, however, were thrilled to learn the event will stay put.

“The city of Effingham is excited that the Corvette festival will be held here, and we think it’s great that Mr. Yager chose Effingham as the location for this celebration which will mark the 35th anniversary of Mid America Motorworks.

This event is great for the city because it brings travelers from all over the country. We’d hate to have lost it,” Tourism/Marketing Director Kim Wiedman said.

The annual customer appreciation event brings in thousands of visitors to the Effingham area and beefs up revenue for hotels, restaurants, gas stations and other businesses, as well as boosting the hotel/motel tax revenue the city receives.

Wiedman did say the event will not be listed in Effingham’s 2009 Visitors Guide because city staff did not receive the dates in time to make the publication.

Time was a factor in deciding the dates and location of the event. Mid America spokeswoman Nancy Bushur said the decision came so people and clubs can make travel arrangements.

“We just wanted to give them as much time as we could,” she said.

Though local hotel owners expressed concern at the Tourism Board meeting Wednesday the event is being moved from its usual dates on the third weekend of September to the fourth weekend.

“Usually every year the hotels always block off all the rooms for the Corvette fest. The hotels blocked off their rooms for the third weekend, but now that it’s the fourth weekend a lot of hotels have already booked rooms because it’s nine months away,” Wiedman said.

Mid America spokeswoman Lori Worman said the event was moved one week later so there would be more time between FunFest and another big corvette event in Bowling Green, Ky., Labor Day weekend.

“Mike (Yager) had a lot of concern in having our event too close to that,” Worman said, adding Yager wanted to give Corvette owners more time to attend both events.

Registration for FunFest opens March 1.

Angie Faller can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 131 or angie.faller@effinghamdailynews.com.