Celebrating the birthplace of an American icon

Vanessa Orr

You don’t see a lot of 75-year-olds celebrating their birthdays by playing in the mud or driving over big rocks and piles of dirt, but that’s exactly what will be happening June 12–14 during the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler, Pa.

The town that is known as the birthplace of the Jeep will be hosting thousands of guests from more than 30 states and Canada to mark the 75th anniversary of the Bantam Reconnaissance Car made by Butler’s American Bantam Car Company in 1940. More than 2,000 Jeeps will join in the effort to break the festival’s own Guinness World Record for the largest parade of Jeeps —and that’s just the start of the fun.

Insider tip: If you have a Jeep and want to register it to participate in the festival, do it soon. Online registration closes May 17.Butler Jeep parade Kelsey Kradel

Our history exhibit will be featuring rare Jeeps from the 1940s, including a re-creation of the original Bantam Reconnaissance Car (the first Jeep) that is the only known vehicle of its kind in the world,” said festival director Patti Jo Lambert. “It will be accompanied by other rare Jeeps, including a Jeep that can swim.

The festival is a lot of fun for all ages. Everyone loves cheering on the Jeeps as they attempt to make it through our mud pit. And, walking though the WWII encampment and our history exhibit is like taking a step back in time,” added Lambert. All of the festival’s activities take place at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Slippery Rock, Pa., except for the Jeep Parade and Jeep Invasion held in downtown Butler.

For more information

Bantam Jeep Festival: BantamJeepFestival.com

Butler County Tourism: visitbutlercounty.com

 

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