2009 National Corvette Homecoming wrap up
The National Corvette Homecoming has been around since 1980, when the Corvette Plant was just setting up shop. It seems several guys, including GM employee Tom Hill, got together and decided there should be a Corvette homecoming in Bowling Green every year and the NCH was born.
Beginning in 2005, Bowling Green resident Joe Pruitt, along with his wife Vera, have taken this show from a dozen or so entrants to a large gathering of Corvette and other enthusiasts.
Over 3,000 attended the National Corvette Homecoming aided by both the spectacular 75 degree weather, and the addition of steel bodied cars that couldn't resist the chance to earn a trophy in the highly organized "drive thru" judging. From Monte Carlos to the new Camaro, all makes and models experienced the hospitality of the Corvette crowd.
After last year's show, Joe and his team consisting of volunteers from the Bowling Green Assembly and Corvettes Limited Corvette Clubs had a meeting and discussed how to increase attendance, especially for the show and shine classes.
The Bowling Green area has a huge population of cruise night cars, so it was decided to open the show up to all. The result was a jump in attendance and a huge success for the show in general. But that's not all Joe and Vera have done to improve and let the show evolve into what may soon become a major event on the Corvette calendar.
Most events have a theme. Some may be competition related with autocross or drag racing for instance. Others may be focused on vendors and swap meet style collections. Joe has focused the National Corvette Homecoming on being a car show with vendors and a whole lot of fun thrown in.
The NCH is held at the Sloan Convention center, which offers several nicer hotels and restaurants within walking distance. Friday is move in day for the ballroom vendors, inside display vehicles and the newly introduced "Sans Pareil" ("without equal") show class which is rising fast as yet another top caliber award for only the most pristine of original Corvettes. There are 25 Sans Pareil award winners to date.
Saturday kicked off the festivities with all day judging in a drive thru format. Seminars and How To clinics by the most noted of experts were available through the day and then the real fun began. All who care to can participate in a police-escorted parade through historic old Bowling Green, to an ever-growing audience of locals. Hundreds of Corvettes equal one heck of a car show in motion!
Back at the Convention Center, the parking lot readies for the night's entertainment. In this year's case the "Blue Light Special", a local high quality band which includes several of BG's finest law enforcement personnel. Unlike many other stiff-lipped organizations, NCH attendees are encouraged to bring their coolers, kids, and the beverages of their choice, along with their beach chairs to enjoy a fantastic (and free) parking lot concert of pop and dance tunes. The Blue Light's lead singers as they are known to enter the crowd and make potential stars of the unsuspecting at any time.
Sunday continued much of the same and concluded with the awards presentation at mid afternoon.
In just four years, Joe and his team have nurtured a fledgling car show into an event for many within driving distance. Joe's hope is to make the NCH an event on the national Corvette calendar such as Carlisle and Bloomington.
"We have a growing group of folks who are bringing more and more of their friends each and every year" "The sky's the limit for the event. Where else but the birthplace of the Corvette to host a homecoming!!"
Mark your calendars for July 16-18, 2010 for next years National Corvette Homecoming in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Photography by Shutterbug Photomall
More Info: www.NationalCorvetteHomecoming.com.