Hidden deep within a valley in North Central PA lies Knoebels Amusement Park. It takes a scenic cruise – either thru PA’s Coal Regions and over the abandoned town of Centralia where a coal fire has been burning underground for decades… or along the mighty Susquehanna River – to get you there. The reward is the nation’s largest free admission amusement park. The surroundings and atmosphere make it a perfect place for our brand to team up with the legendary Counter Kultur brand to throw a big car show with a different vibe than any other. When we first put our heads together three years ago, we agreed that we wanted to provide an event where attendees could focus on having fun with their friends and their families. We’re proud to say that after our third annual Knoedown event now, this year’s event drew nearly 500 vehicles – and we helped Knoebels Amusement Park set an attendance record for the day.
For an event like this, we keep it pretty basic. The Knoedown pavilion is home base – and it’s where you’ll find the booths for both brands as well as event merch – it’s also where we serve a catered family style cookout lunch for competitors and spectators alike. There’s plenty of food inside the park, but we like the idea of having everyone chill together under the pavilion. The park itself is located just behind the pavilion, so it’s easy access to all the rides and games and other fun stuff. We then hand pick some of the featured cars as they roll in during the morning – and we put them on display up front near the pavilion, along with a handful of vendor booths with everything from scene apparel to vaping goodies to rare parts. All of that is just the set-up for the massive showfield that sits facing the pavilion, park, and featured car paddock.
This year we got some high quality builds – in all sorts of automotive breeds – to come out for the laid back atmosphere.
It’s no surprise that some of the region’s crews rolled in deep to the event, after all, what better way to hit up the amusement park – hard parking with your squad. As always, our friends at Serious Innovations / SVS Crew showed off their team spirit and showed support for our brand.
Goonsquad took over the showfield.
Even though the focus is on having fun, we still show love for some award quality builds. This year we decided to go with a Top 20 competition and a handful of specialty awards, including Best of Show. Our friends at eJudged.com brought out their Mobile Command Center aka Ford Transit Connect Battle Wagon to make sure the nomination process went smoothly – thanks to their awesome smartphone app for event judging. Our Top 20 awards – which will likely need to expand to 25 next year – were given out in the form of custom screenprinted beer growlers. And our great friends at InnFab & Low Jambs Drop Shop helped us out with the other awards, by helping design and then donating the lazer cut anodized specialty awards.
When we say all breeds are welcome, this is what we mean:
As you know, though, both of our brands are deeply rooted in the VW/European Community. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that almost half of the showfield is filled with our friends from the VAG and BMW communities.
One of the coolest things for us behind the scenes, is to see the diverse styles of cars show up, park together, show love and respect to one another, and enjoy the day without anyone acting out of line. It’s been a recent trend of some of the coolest shows catching a bad rep over rowdy crowds doing burnouts and inciting chaos. You won’t find that here, as we let everyone know in advance that this is a family friendly atmosphere and the park is open to general spectators during the event.
This thing is bad ass:
This Datsun wagon is one of our all time KnoeDown favorites… and he has attended all three years!
We also want to give thanks and a warm welcome to the PSU Car Club who came out this year to raise money on behalf of Penn State’s THON charity. We hope to incorporate them and their devotion to this great cause at events of ours in the future as well.
The best part of the day for us is seeing so many friendly happy faces. Some of which are faces that we rarely get a chance to see. Others are faces we see all spring and summer long at other events, but we’re usually too busy to chat so we say hi and keep motoring along.
We had a great time at this year’s event and we hope that everyone who attended did as well. We’ve already locked in the date for next year’s event, so we hope to see even more smiling faces and unique builds on Sunday, September 11, 2016. We’ve already got plans for improving next year’s event in a few small ways, so you probably don’t wanna miss out! Until then, enjoy our full photo set, shot by tv’s own Nick Becker. Cheers!