People may think Passat when they hear Volkswagen Chattanooga, but the car created locally will take a backseat to its predecessor, the Volkwagen Beetle, at the Bug-a-Paluza event April 21-22.
Hosted by Scenic City Volks Folks, several hundred show cars, dozens of vendors, kids activities, concessions and several thousand spectators will be featured at this year's event, which will raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga, said the organization's Director of Marketing and Public Relations Chinyere Ubamadu.
"I love the fact that you can come out and see old and new Volkswagen cars at Bug-a-Paluza and the fact that it's a family friendly event all for a good cause," she said. "It's a lot of fun for just about everyone whether you're a car buff, coming out with the kids or just looking to get outdoors for the weekend."
Beginning at 8 a.m., the event will take place all day Saturday and until around 4 p.m. Sunday at Camp Jordan in East Ridge. Children ages 12 and under are admitted for free and adult admission costs $4 per person.
All proceeds from admission and concession sales go directly to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga.
"The Ronald McDonald House of Greater Chattanooga provides a home away from home for families with critically ill children," said Ubamadu. "Over the last several years we've raised between $10,000-13,000 at Bug-a-Paluza for families with children in the hospital and that equals out to about 200 nights of comfortable stays for Ronald McDonald families."
In 1999, Bug-a-Paluza started as a handful of Volkswagen enthusiasts getting together to spend a Sunday afternoon in the dealership parking lot, but 14 years later the event is a full-fledged festival and fundraiser that gets bigger each year, said Ubamadu. Sponsorship by Volkswagen Chattanooga and the new plant may have something to do with increased interest, she said.
"All year we look forward to being at the event," said Volkswagen Chattanooga General Manager of Communication Guenther Scherelis. "This is a meeting of the most loyal fans of the brand, and we always have fun being there and seeing what enthusiasts can do with the Beetles, Microbuses and newer cars."
Although Scherelis said he's never been to a Volkswagen event in the United States other than Chattanooga's Bug-a-Paluza, he said he understands it's comparable to similar events in Europe. Volkswagen Chattanooga has been a sponsor of the event for the last three years.
"The community welcomed Volkswagen and all the new citizens here very well and we want to give back and be a good corporate citizen," said Scherelis.
For more information, visit www.bugapaluza.com