More Than 300 Jeeps Trek Out To 3rd Annual Frostproof Jeeptoberfest
by James Coulter
Lyle Tripp, Frostproof Chamber President, is a proud Jeep owner. He loves Jeep vehicles, and he enjoys networking with other Jeep owners. So, creating a Jeep event for his city seemed like a good idea. “I wanted to bring it here to Frostproof because I know it is a good crowd,” he said.
The Frostproof Chamber of Commerce started Jeeptoberfestthree years ago. Since then, the annual Jeep event has grown bigger and better. More than 300 Jeep vehicles attended this year’s event on Saturday.
The previous two events were hosted on Henderson Field in Downtown Frostproof. Each year filled the sports field with Jeep vehicles, to the point where The Resort At Canopy Oaks made the generous offer to host the event at their 435-acre campground facility.
“This year Canopy Oaks offered their property to host it here,” Tripp said. “Being they are a member of the Frostproof Chamber of Commerce, we wanted to jump on that. They wanted to showcase their property, and they let us use some of their land to make a trail ride.”
At this year’s event, attendees could drive along a makeshift Jeep trail at the campgrounds and participate in a scavenger hunt in the City of Frostproof for a chance to win raffle prizes. Both activities allowed attendees to peruse the city and the campgrounds and see what both locations had to offer.
Since starting three years ago, the annual Jeep event has experienced tremendous growth in participation and turnout. The first event drew in nearly 100 participants, and the second year drew in 300. This year’s event drew in between 300 to 500 Jeep vehicles, said Austin Gravely, Frostproof Vice Mayor.
Gravley attended the event that weekend, not only as the vice mayor and as a member of the Frostproof Chamber of Commerce, but as a representative of Kelly Buick, which served as a sponsor this year. Overall, he was amazed by this year’s turnout, even despite these uncertain times.
“It was a great turnout,” he said. “I didn’t think it would get bigger than last year, but it definitely did…It was a great turnout. I didn’t think it would get bigger than last year, but it definitely did.”
This year’s event experienced a massive turnout even before the event opened to the public, said Melody Kincaid, Vice President of the Frostproof Chamber. She owes the overall growing success to word-of-mouth and the organization of the Chamber.
“We are very impressed by the turnout thus far,” she said. “There was a lot of traffic coming in even before we started…We are on Cloud Nine. We are very excited, very impressed with everything. Everything is running really smooth with a lot of networking going on between all the Jeep owners from everywhere from Georgia to Miami. They are coming from everywhere. We are very happy.”
When The Resort At Canopy Oaks reached out to the Chamber to host the event at their campgrounds, Kincaid and her fellow Chamber members jumped at the opportunity, especially since the RV resort is a Chamber member.
“Canopy Oaks reached out to us,” she said. “They had seen the capacity we reached with Henderson Field last year, and they knew that they had faith in us that this year’s event would be much bigger. And they opened their grounds to us and offered a piece of their resort to use for our event. We are very grateful for them…It exceeded [our expectations] so far and it keeps rolling in.”