2015 Festival Results Released!

The Highest Jeep Festival Attendance Yet!
Thanks to all of you Jeep enthusiasts who journeyed to the birthplace of the Jeep to join us for Bantam's 75th Birthday Bash!  Our overall three-day attendance at Coopers Lake was approximately 25,000 (25% more than 2014). Our overall attendance number includes registered Jeep drivers, ticketed passengers, walk-in spectators, volunteers, sponsors and vendors.  It does not include the additional 20,000+ people who filled the streets of Downtown Butler for the Jeep Parade and Invasion.

We also welcomed 2,937 registered Jeeps throughout the weekend.  This result is 1,000+ more Jeeps than in 2014 - simply amazing!  Registered Jeeps came from a record number 38 states and Canada.  This figure does not include the hundreds of sponsor and vendor Jeeps parked in booths or the thousands of Jeeps in the parking area.  

The Guinness World Record Parade was comprised of 2,420 Jeeps making their way to downtown Butler. We will be submitting our documentation to Guinness soon and will be anxiously awaiting their official ruling in the next 8-12 weeks.

Thank you to all of our first time attendees as well as our returning Jeepers for attending this event!  We hope you will join us next year for all the fun and excitement we have planned for the 6th annual Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival. on June 10-12, 2016.   Mark your calendars for the second weekend in June!  

All results and Festival photo galleries can be viewed here!

Parade On-Site Registration Announced

Did you miss the pre-registration deadline to register your Jeep for the Parade? Don't worry! We are offering on-site registration so you can help bring the Guinness World Record back to the birthplace where it belongs!

On-Site registration for the Jeep Parade will be held on Friday, June 12 from 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the South Butler Township Fire Hall. The cost for On-Site registration for the Parade is $15, credit cards preferred. The Fire Hall is located at 98 Old Plank Road, Butler, Pa., near Butler County Community College where all Jeeps will be staged for the parade.   See map here at bottom of web page below the Downtown Invasion map.

Jeep Parade registration will ONLY be available at the Fire Hall.  You will not be able to register for the Parade at Coopers Lake Campground on Friday.  Your Jeep's VIN number is required to register.

Spread the word and tell every Jeep owner you know to register on-site and help us bring back the Guinness World Record to Butler!

Limited Festival Activities Remaining for On-Site Registration

What a fantastic year!  Most Festival activities are sold out, but there are still a few opportunities for you participate in the event with your Jeep.  On-site registration opens at 8 a.m. each day and a $5 processing fee will be added to your total. 

Remaining Capacity for activities is as follows:

  • Jeep Parade Only - register at Fire Hall between 10:30 and 1:30 on Friday - only 400 spots remaining!
  • Glacial Interpretive Driving Tour - Friday morning at 9:30 - 17 remaining
  • Muddy 5K on Sunday morning - on-site registration is $50 - unlimited
  • Show 'n Shine (judging is Saturday morning) - 53 remaining
  • Moraine Trail Ride
    • Sunday - 12 p.m. - 3 remaining
    • Sunday - 12:30 p.m. - 5 remaining
    • Sunday - 1 p.m. - 2 remaining

If you want to explore the great outdoors, there is still space in these Fun Stuff activities:

  • Friday - Hike at McConnells Mill State Park - 11:15 a.m. - 8 remaining
  • Saturday - Biking at Moraine State Park - 11:30 a.m. - 10 remaining
  • Saturday - Disc Golf at Moraine State Park - 12:30 p.m. - 1 remaining
  • Saturday - Dead Fish Polo at Coopers Lake - 3 p.m. -  8 remaining
  • Sunday - Hike at McConnells Mill State Park - 10:30 a.m. - 4 remaining
  • Sunday - Dead Fish Polo at Coopers Lake - 12:45 p .m. - 14 remaining
  • Sunday - Lake Arthur Boat Tour at Moraine State Park - 2 p.m. - 1 remaining

Help us bring the Jeep Parade Record home to the birthplace!

Calling all Jeep Owners!   Register your Jeep for the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival’s Guinness World Records Jeep Parade on June 12 and help keep the record in Butler, PA, where it belongs! 

On April 26, a Jeep event in Daytona Beach, Florida beat the Festival’s previous record of 1,106 that was set in 2011. We need your help to bring the record back home to the birthplace!  Any Jeep model or year can participate.  Register by May 17th and be a part of Jeep history!

The parade costs $15 to participate and includes a commemorative dash plaque, downloadable photo of each participating Jeep and a commemorative gift. The parade will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, June 12.  Jeeps will stage at Butler County Community College between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and then travel north on Route 8 and through Downtown Butler.

More information about the Parade can be found here.

Sharon L. Kovac Memorial Bantam Jeep Heritage Scholarship Announced

One of the Festival's dedicated volunteers suddenly passed away in October. Sharon Kovac loved her 2001 Jeep Wrangler and enjoyed serving as a behind-the-scenes volunteer since the Festival began.  Sharon was a grandmother, mother, and wife who enjoyed helping others and loved children, especially her grandchildren. Sharon’s joyful spirit of curiosity and her love of learning will continue to live on through the students supported by the Sharon L. Kovac Bantam Jeep Heritage Scholarship at Butler County Community College (BC3).

The scholarship is for GED graduates planning to attend BC3 starting in the fall 2015 semester. It was made possible through the contributions of Sharon’s family, friends, and the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival community. According to Sharon's husband Wayne, "Sharon’s scholarship will provide a quality education, build a solid foundation for the future, and make a positive impact on many students’ lives.”

Jeep enthusiasts are invited to contribute to the scholarship in Sharon's memory and to encourage qualified students to apply by July 1, 2015 at bc3.edu.  For questions or additional information please contact the BC3 Education Foundation, Inc. at 724-287-8711, ext. 8368. 

2015 Friends of the Festival Print Now Available!

Limited Edition Print is Final Piece in the Series of Five

The 2015 Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival is celebrating the 75th birthday of the world's original Jeep during the 5th annual event on June 12-14.  To observe this milestone, the 2015 Friends of the Festival print prominently features the Bantam Reconnaissance Car (BRC) that was built by Butler's American Bantam Car Company in 1940.

Artist George Gaadt created the limited edition print by drawing blueprint-style illustrations of the BRC.  The side view depicts a very preliminary sketch of the vehicle while the front view features a more refined drawing. The colorful angled view showcases a detailed illustration of the completed BRC.

The BRC drawings are accompanied by illustrated versions of the American Bantam Car Company's vibrant red logo and a portrait of the company's president, Frank Fenn.  The license plate mounted on the BRC's front bumper is also prominently featured and accompanied by text that explains the content on the plate.  Similar to an authentic blueprint, the print features an information block.

"Since this is the 75th birthday of the BRC and the last print in the Friends of the Festival series, I wanted this piece to do more than feature the BRC.  I wanted it to tell a story," said Gaadt, who also created the 2012 print.

The bottom of the four-color process lithographs includes the words "American Bantam Car Company" along with the Festival's logo which is foil embossed in gold using a high definition brass die.  Only 100 of the 16x20 prints are available. They will be signed and numbered by the artist.  The entire project was coordinated by Terry Hagen of the Associated Artists of Butler County.

Prints cost $100 each (plus $4 shipping and handling) and include a certificate of authenticity.  They can be purchased in the Online Store.

The Friends of the Festival series began in 2011, and the 2015 print will be the final piece produced.  Previous prints will also be available in the online store while supplies last.  

Call the Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau at 724-234-2291 for more information or email info@BantamJeepFestival.com

75 Years of Jeep: Will you represent your Jeep brand vehicle's year in the Parade?

We will be featuring one Jeep for each of the 75 years (1940-2015) in our Guinness World Records Parade. These  selected Jeep brand vehicles will lead the Parade and park together in a designated lot at the north end of the Invasion. The selected Jeep brand vehicles that participate will be given a certificate of participation. Here are a few things to remember when registering your Jeep to represent a year: 

  • You must be registered by March 31 to be considered. You will be contacted via email by April 30 if your Jeep is selected.
  • To be considered, you MUST participate in the Jeep Parade / Jeep Invasion.
  • Nominate your Jeep by uploading a photo during online registration.  We will use this photo for marketing purposes.
  • Our Festival Planning Committee will determine which of the nominated Jeep brand vehicles will represent each year.
  • You MUST be able to arrive at Butler County Community College between 11-1 on Friday, June 12.

For more information on the Jeep Parade/Jeep Invasion, click here

Re-creation of World's Original Jeep to Journey Home to Butler, PA for its 75th Birthday Celebration at Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival

Vehicle to Be Joined By Other Rare 1940s Jeeps from
Omix-ADA's Private Jeep Collection, along with a Jeep that Swims

The world’s original Jeep is coming home. Thousands of Jeep and auto enthusiasts will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the only known re-creation of the Bantam Reconnaissance Car (BRC), the world’s original Jeep, at the 5th annual Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival.  For the first time, the Pilot is returning to its birthplace in Butler, Pa. to celebrate its 75th birthday June 12-14.

The BRC will be accompanied by the first Jeeps made by Ford and Willys and other rare 1940 models in the Jeep History Exhibit sponsored by Omix-ADA, the world's largest Jeep parts independent manufacturer. 

The original Pilot, created by Butler's American Bantam Car Company, was destroyed during Army testing, and Duncan Rolls of Texas painstakingly re-created the BRC between 2004 and 2008.  The BRC is the vehicle that all future Jeep models was based on. 

“I became interested in Jeeps as a boy watching World War II movies, then began restoring World War II Jeeps for fun," said Rolls.  "I eventually became interested in the origin of the Jeep.  Thirty years later, I decided to re-create the Bantam Reconnaissance Car after much research and what I thought was a reasonable budget.  While it only took the American Bantam Car Company 49 days (approximately 1,200 hours) to produce their Jeep, it took me 3,500 hours of my spare time over four years.”

The pilot will be accompanied by approximately 12 rare Jeeps from the 1940s, six provided from the private collection owned by Omix-ADA.   A Bantam BRC-40, Willys MA, Ford GP and a Willys CJ-2A fire truck will be featured along with other military and civilian models, including the Ford GPA, a Jeep that can swim.

“We’re looking forward to sharing this significant part of our Jeep collection at the Festival,” said Al Azadi, founder and president of Omix-ADA.  “This is the first time this many Jeeps in our collection have traveled to the northeast, and we know the attendees will appreciate seeing this  incredible display of Jeep heritage in Butler.”

Festival organizers believe the Jeeps will be a big attraction for the event that draws thousands of Jeep owners from more than 25 states and Canada.   "Having the Pilot here for the 75th Birthday Bash, along with the Willys MA and Ford GP, is a gift for every Festival attendee.  Jeep and car enthusiasts alike will want to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these rare Jeeps together, "said Patti Jo Lambert, Festival director.

To celebrate the Bantam's birthday, the Festival is planning to beat its own Guinness World Record for the Largest Parade of Jeeps on Friday, June 12 at 2:30 p.m. Plans are for the first 75 Jeeps in the parade to collectively represent all 75 years of Jeeps.  Organizers expect up to 2,500 Jeeps to participate.

Registration Now Open!

You've been waiting for it since June 2014 and the time is finally here!  Registration is now open for the 2015 Festival.  Click the red "Register Now" box on the top of the page to access our online registration which will be available until May 17.  But don't wait!  There are package savings you can take advantage of if you register by March 31.  We're looking forward to seeing you in June for the Bantam Jeep's 75th Birthday Bash!