Surry County will welcome more than 300 vintage BMW owners for a three-day event starting Friday at Shelton Vineyards in Dobson.
The 2009 Vintage at the Vineyards is a family-orientated attraction for car enthusiasts, and one that will help bring some profit to the area, said Jessica Icenhour, the director of tourism at the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce.
“Mount Airy is excited to be working with the Vintage in the Vineyards group who will be coming to downtown Mount Airy on Friday and will be participating in different events at different places in our county including Old North State Winery, Shelton Vineyards, Downtown Cinema-Surry Arts Council, Downtown Elkin and The Blue Ridge Parkway,” she said.
“While these attendees are in the area they will be shopping, eating, buying gas and staying overnight and pumping money into our local economy,” she continued. “These tourism type of events are more important than ever during a down economy and we look forward to hosting similar events like this in the future and working with everyone in the tourism industry in Surry County on making these events happen.”
Vintage BMW owner Scott Sturdy, who is heading up the German theme event, said the event has grown from 50 cars to more to 300 in its six years of existence.
The event originally started in Westbend Vineyards in Lewisville, but the large turnout caused it to outgrow the venue, he said.
“It’s a gathering of vintage BMWs in a nutshell. Last year we had 207 (BMWs), this year there are more than 300—its growing by leaps and bounds,” said Sturdy, the owner of a 1970 BMW 2002. “This year it’s a true three-day event... People are coming from farther and farther away like the Netherlands (and) Puerto Rico, it’s almost an international event, it’s mind boggling.”
Sturdy added that a majority of the cars are from the 70s and 80s, but some are from the 60s and 50s and a few are even older.
The Sixth Annual Vintage at the Vineyards will kick-off Friday at 5 p.m. with a meet and greet and live entertainment for the vintage BMW owners at Old North State Winery and Brewery, followed by a private showing of a vintage car movie for them at the Downtown Cinema.
At 9:30 a.m. on Saturday the drivers will take a scenic drive sponsored by Blunt Tech Industries starting in blocked off downtown streets in Elkin. The drive will take them to Shelton Vineyards. The ride will be open to vintage BMWs, newer BMWs, and other sports cars.
At 10:30 a.m. the gates at Shelton Vineyards will open, and vintage BMWs will be on display. There will also be hay rides, wine tours, and tastings with souvenir event wine glasses, music from The Sauerkraut Band (an 11-piece Oom-Pah-Pah band), art car interactive exhibit, food available, raffle and aerial photography.
On Sunday at 9 a.m., another drive will take place along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Dobson to the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville for vintage BMWs only.
Sturdy said spectators are welcome on Saturday, while the majority of the other events are for the vintage BMW owners who registered for the weekend event.
Icenhour said she is focusing on bringing more groups with specific interest to the area because of Mount Airy’s variety of activities and tourist attractions.
“I am focusing on bringing in different niche groups to Mount Airy such as the Antique Rolls Royce Cars we hosted earlier in the month and the VMCCA Chrome Glidden Tour which will be coming to downtown Mount Airy (on June 9 from about 11 a.m. until about 2 p.m.) and the Buick Driving Enthusiasts who will be coming in September, “ she said. “Many of these car groups will only be spending a few hours in our downtown area, but this allows them to see what all we have to see and do in the area and get them to come back and plan a longer vacation.”
”Once they arrive in our area they are impressed with what all things we have to offer beyond Mayberry including outdoor recreation, great shopping, wineries, state parks, historical attractions, museums, live music and entertainment on a weekly basis and so much more,” she said.
For more information about the Vintage at the Vineyards visit http://vintageatthevineyards.com.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at email@example.com or 719-1952.