Bloomington Gold celebrated its 50th event last week by returning home after 20ish years away from the Bloomington-Normal area where it was born. Check out our photo gallery and a recap of the show.
Photograph Credit: Steve Burns
In June of 1984 my dad took me on an out-of-town street journey to Bloomington, Illinois for a Corvette present. In my head, the 7-hour drive lasted for days. It started raining in a single day and I vividly keep in mind standing in 2 inches of water inside a tent whereas my dad bought our weekend passes. That Corvette present was Bloomington Gold and I used to be 8 years outdated. Since then,has been an annual staple on my summer time calendar. I’ve solely missed 2 exhibits over the 38 years since my first go to.
I share this nostalgia as a result of Bloomington Gold celebrated its fiftieth occasion final week by returning house after 20ish years away from the Bloomington-Regular space the place it was born. The same feeling of nostalgia was apparent all through your entire weekend. There was additionally a way of returning to “Regular” in additional methods than simply on the map. After shaking off two years of Covid-modified exhibits, the crowds have been again and the present was busier than we’ve seen in a number of years.
The campus of Illinois State College now gives the backdrop for the Granddaddy of Corvette exhibits. All actions are situated inside straightforward strolling distance of each other. Certification judging is held indoors on the ground of Redbird Enviornment. Distributors and Gold Members arrange store within the adjoining Horton Fieldhouse. The swap meet, extra distributors, and sellers lie in between the buildings. The Gold Assortment is a 1 block stroll or a brief shuttle journey away from the primary present space whereas the membership and spectator parking heaps are situated even nearer to the primary present space. General, we thought the brand new format was logical and made it straightforward to search out no matter exercise you have been on the lookout for.
The fiftieth birthday celebration kicked off Thursday night with the Gold Gala. The ticketed occasion gave a sneak peek at this 12 months’s Gold Assortment which was held within the Bone Scholar Heart identical to the very first Particular Assortment in 1984. This 12 months’s theme was a Salute to the Gold Assortment paying homage to its numerous incarnations through the years. Earlier than the Gold Gala started, attendees have been lined up down the corridor whereas ready their flip to get checked in. As soon as inside they have been greeted by 30 or so of one of the best Corvettes on the planet, munchies, and bar service. The star of the present clearly was Grand Sport quantity 4 which made the trek up from Florida. Different vital Corvettes included the #3 and #4 1960 Le Mans Corvettes, the one manufacturing 1971 ZR1 convertible, the 12-mile 1967 L88, and the blue Harley Early styling automobile amongst others. We’ll have a separate gallery from the Gold Assortment within the coming days.
Friday was muggy with some gentle showers from late morning on. Even with the rain, crowds have been noticeably increased than in recent times. Our day started within the sold-out swap meet on the lookout for goodies for the latest occupants of the Detroit Bureau storage. As soon as the drizzle began, it was inside to catch a few seminars. The gang for our Historical past of Bloomington Gold session was standing room solely. Afterward, it was over to Redbird Enviornment to take a look at the 70ish Corvettes going via judging. Seeing 5 generations of Corvettes laid out on the world ground was a cool sight. The day wrapped up with a stroll via the seller space inside Horton Fieldhouse and a brief (necessary) cease on the Beer Backyard.
Saturday’s climate couldn’t have been higher. The temperature topped out proper round 80 levels with a mixture of solar and clouds all through the day. Once more, the crowds have been large and there was particular power all through the grounds. It was merely an awesome day to be outdoors at a automobile present. After testing the Survivor judging we took a while to walk the Corvette Membership and spectator parking heaps. We have been blissful to see each heaps filled with Corvettes. The Membership Parking zone was social metropolis. A number of golf equipment had tables, chairs, and extra arrange close to their vehicles whereas members frolicked collectively speaking store. After basking within the solar, it was time once more to hit the Beer Backyard once more which included a reside band Saturday afternoon. From there it was over to the awards ceremony which was hosted by Mecum Auctions’ John Kramman. We loved the private contact of handing out awards and every proprietor’s automobile.
Bloomington Gold’s fiftieth celebration wrapped up with the normal street tour. Registrations for the driving occasion have been so excessive that the staging location needed to be moved to accommodate all of the Corvettes. After cruising a portion of outdated Route 66 and making a lap round Lake Bloomington, the street tour wrapped up in downtown Regular for a block get together. We couldn’t make the street tour and get together, however we have been advised it was one enjoyable night. Each might be on our agenda subsequent 12 months.
The Granddaddy of Corvette exhibits is now 50 years outdated and again house the place it belongs. Many of us we talked with all through the weekend preferred the brand new location and we definitely agree. We additionally spoke with a number of native residents who have been excited to have the present again on the town as effectively. It was nice to see the host cities embrace the present the best way they did.
We’ll go forward and declare the fiftieth Annual Bloomington Gold Corvette present a powerful success. The brand new location breathed new life into the present after 2 years at Lucas Oil Stadium. Bloomington Gold might be again in Bloomington-Regular subsequent 12 months and we’re wanting ahead to seeing the way it builds on this 12 months’s success. Till then, get pleasure from our gallery from the present beneath.
Photographs by Steve Burns