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Celebration Exotic Car Festival

Jim Weed

Volume 49 Issue 08

Apr 27, 2024

Celebration Exotic Car Festival is much more than a 'car show'. It is an experience to enjoy all this event has to offer. AND it's all for a great cause. Make-A-Wish and several other organizations benefit from this festival.

    The top of April in Georgia is not yet spring. I know the land further north is still hoping for warm weather and sunny skies.

    Is there any better time to go to Florida to warm up, start that tan and see exotic automobiles? I think not!

    Now in its twentieth year, this car show has grown to fill the streets around the quaint town of Celebration with interesting and rare automobiles, not just Ferraris, but many others also.

    To call it a car show is not really true. It is a festival of experiences that transcend what you would normally think of when you think ‘car show’.

    It starts with a rock concert. Not just any rock concert but a private venue with a nationally named band.

    The Hard Rock Live Universal Studios hosts the participants with food and beverage before iconic rock band REO Speedwagon takes the stage.

    As if to set the scene for the weekend events, it is fitting the band has Speedwagon in its name.

    Of course, getting to Hard Rock is an experience in itself. Chartered buses with a police escort transport participants swiftly from downtown Celebration directly to the venue.

    If you have never experienced what it is like to travel down an empty freeway on a Friday evening, I highly suggest you add this event to your calendar.

    Saturday morning dawns with automobiles lining the streets of downtown. Ferraris take center stage on the main street lining both sides of the street.

    Farther down on one side street is a row of DeLorean. A couple are made to look like ‘Back to the Future’ time machines. It’s always fun to see the level of detail people go to for accuracy.

    At the other end of the street are some muscle cars mixed in with other interesting automobiles. A Fiat 500, beautifully restored, sits next to an Edsel convertible. No, not mine but in orange. Maybe I’ll bring my turquoise one next year to park them side-by-side.

    There is an Alfa Montreal in Rosso Dino or whatever color Alfa calls it, and nearby is a beautiful blue Pantera.

    Center stage has several very special Ferraris enclosed behind railing. For a donation you can get your photo taken next to something exotic.

    In that corral is a 550 Barchetta in red with tan and a yellow LaFerrari. Both of those seemed tame when next to an electric blue 812 Competizione Aperta with yellow stripes and blue Alcantara interior.



    Did I say donations? Yes, the purpose of this event is to provide funds for Make-A-Wish and several other organizations all geared to give as much as possible for the children.

    To date there has been more than five million dollars donated by the festival. This year was another very generous year. Many wishes will be granted from this year’s donations.

    The event is organized with many volunteers and donated time. You can bet all the fees go directly to the deserving organizations with little overhead costs.

    Isn’t that way it should be?

    The giving continues Saturday evening with a dinner at the Waldorf Astoria featuring a multi-course meal and much wine from ACTA and ZD Wines to loosen your pocketbook. 

    Bidding on various getaway packages and experiences add to the donation count for the event.

    Want a three night Michelin gourmet vacation in New York? How about a Navy Seal experience complete with skydive, shooting and a private 5-star villa.

    Or, the dream of every gearhead, a private tour of Jay Leno’s garage. All for the price of helping children achieve their wish.

    On Sunday, there is a rally through the backroads of the Florida countryside. The low-pressure drive provides a chance to exercise your Ferrari without exceeding the limits.

    But if you really want to explore the limits of your Ferrari there are two days of track time on Monday and Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway.

    There are few opportunities to truly drive a Ferrari fast in a controlled environment and there is no better place to do that than at Daytona.

    So, there you have it. Five days of fun filled with elegant dinners, rock concert, beautiful cars, a bit of Florida countryside and track time at a historic raceway. 

    All to help children who need your donation to make their short life memorable. 

    Celebration Exotic Car Festival should be on your list. The fun, the people, the Ferraris, the food, all to make children’s lives better is worth it.

Bonus photos!












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