Jeep festival draws bigger crowds
Eagle Staff Writer
Written by:
June 14, 2017
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Tyler Raybuck, 5, of DuBois drives a radio-controlled vehicle at the Hobby Express children's area during the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival at Cooper's Lake Campground on Saturday.

The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival saw a 10 percent increase in registered Jeeps this year.

Patti Jo Lambert, festival director, said 2,350 Jeeps were registered for the event, which ended Sunday.

“I think a 10 percent growth rate is pretty phenomenal,” Lambert said. “We know that we have an event that is popular and well loved.”

Lambert said she also saw change in the weekend's dynamic at the gate. She said the number of people that attended appeared to increase Friday and a slight decrease Sunday, compared to previous years. She said they can usually rely on Saturday to be a good day.

“Friday seemed much higher than previous Fridays,” Lambert said. “Saturday was phenomenal.”

Lambert said most of the vendors related similar experiences.

“Many of the vendors told me that their sales on Friday were significantly higher than last year,” she said.

Lambert said she attributes this year's growth to new marketing techniques. She said they've been focusing more on Jeep oriented websites, but they've also reached out through emails to Jeep owners from 2011 to 2016, hoping to keep bringing in new blood.

Lambert said she gauged the effects of the marketing from the number of questions she received upon registration.

“It seemed like we had a lot of first-timers this year,” she said. “That's exciting that we reached new people.”

Something that might have drawn in new participants or brought back old ones were a few new events. This year the festival included the first Babes of great weekend.”

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Attendance at the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival at Cooper’s Lake Campground was up 10 percent this year, according to Patti Jo Lambert, festival director.

Bantam Trail Ride, a female-oriented educational outing, and the Jeeps on the Rock Trail Ride, which added a new element to the course.

“We got really good feedback on those,” she said.

Lambert said she knows that eventually the festival may plateau in its numbers, but she couldn't imagine that happening anytime soon.

She said organizers continue to bring new ideas for events and marketing.

“We're figuring out now all the nuances and ways to improve,” she said.

She said she received a lot of compliments again this year regarding the staffing, and she knows they can continue to grow with the same effort applied next year.

“The weekend went really smooth,” she said. “It was just a