It was huge. It was spectacular!! It was a BLAST!!! A Club Blast that is. It was so huge the MetLife blimp provided coverage. OK, maybe it was really just travelling by in the area. (I haven't checked, but it was probably on its way to Charlotte to cover the Panthers game. Blimps are a common site around Burlington as they like to use the Burlington-Alamance airport - less air traffic to contend with compared to PTI or RDU.)
On Saturday, August 9, 2008, members of the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club met in Burlington for a Club Blast. A club blast you ask? It was our founder Mark's idea to call a big picnic a club blast. I'll be interested to see if the term starts spreading.So his original goal was for 200 members of the club to show up and as he revealed, he realistically expected maybe 50 to actually make it.
I'm not sure what the official number will be pegged at, but I think I caught the peak at 64 Minis in attendance. And since many carried more than one person, the attendance count was surely much higher. I'll guess somewhere between 100 and 120. I do know when all was said and done, we had filled up 4 Parks & Rec supplied garbage bags and the two in the cans were partially filled. And they were big trash bags.
It was a thrill for me to see so many Minis in one place. I'm going to guess those who have attended a MOTD have seen this many in one place. Ditto for anyone who has attended any of the other major events held throughout the country. For instance, just a couple weeks ago they made a Guiness world record attempt for longest Mini parade up in Virginia and had about 135 if I recall correctly. Hopefully one day I'll make it to a similar event. But for now, this has been the biggest gathering for me.
I also got to see what an attention grabber a classic Mini is for Mini owners. And we had not one, but two classics in attendance. One of them was red with white bonnet stripes and the white roof, so it was basically like mine. Albeit, close to 50 years older. About halfway through the event I moved Mr. Mini Wuf next to Ivan the MINI for some pictures. It was quite interesting to see the two contrasted next to each other like that. A couple months ago North American Motoring had the theme of "Generations" for their monthly photo contest. I was never able to come up with anything for that. I'll be some pics of my Mini next to Ivan would have been a strong contender.
Another highlight was the appearance of a Mini GP. And according to the owner, it is just not any Mini GP (as if there were such a thing) - it is even more unique. It was the first GP delivered to the US when they were released and it has the lowest number in the US. And to top it all off? He wants to sell it and had bought FOR SALE signs just an hour earlier before coming over to the Club Blast.
As you might gather from some of the pictures in the gallery, the crowd enjoyed a wonderful picnic lunch. We had attendees of all ages present and even celebrated a birthday.
I did get a bit overheated from being out in the sun for so long getting a closer look at all of the YOU-ification that had been done to the Minis. Enjoy the pics!