If you really want to do something like this, I would certainly be willing to get it going. We have the Commander Hotel ( Ocean City Maryland Boardwalk Hotels -- Commander Oceanfront Hotel
) and we are celebrating 80 years in business this year. I am personal friends with the owners of Fishtales (one of their family members even works for me), the Francis Scott Key (both of us are firefighters here in OC) and the promoters of the cruising events and car shows. It's really no big deal because with OC being such a small town it is really hard not to know everybody!
Anyhow, after thinking about this for a bit, I think that we may be able to pull off a small gathering of some kind at a hotel or restaurant this year, but we will need some time to plan a big event. To get the city on board for parades and such you need to go in front of the city council. No big deal, but things like this are usually planned and approved a year or so in advance. If we pick a date now for a large event in 2011, we can get on the city events calendar, which will promote the event in tons of mailings and advertisements published by both the city and a large number of the businesses in town. This can happen, but it takes time to plan and prepare and we have missed the boat for this year.
As for doing the event in correlation with the spring cruising event, I would say that is a bad idea. The city has already put a cap on the number of entries for the cruising events because the town is absolutely maxed out and stretched to capacity as is. If we try to add a Jeep event to that same weekend we will most certainly get shot down by the city and most or all of the businesses in town because they absolutely cannot handle anything else. If we want to do something, we need to pick our own dates and then we can get something done.
Anyhow, I have contacts all around town (hotels, bars, restaurants, clubs, 4 wheel shops, etc) and would be happy to shake the trees to see what falls out if you guys are serious. There are a lot of businesses that would jump on the opportunity, even for this year, but we need to pick a date and get it going. If you want to do an informal gathering this year, I would shoot for a date in the late summer or early fall. Trust me on this because at that time of the year the weather is still nice, but the businesses are starting to slow down a bit. Plus, in the fall we may be able to get some businesses on board with some kind of sponsorship packages because after the summer they have some money to play with, but in the spring the finances are tight for everybody here.
Ok, if you can't already tell my mind is racing and I am excited about the possibility of doing an event here. Post your feelings about doing something late this summer and let me know if you really want to try it. After several conversations I have had with the cruising event promoters about doing a Jeep event, they may be on board for 2011 if there is enough interest. Let's try something on a smaller scale this fall to see if people will really show up or if it's all talk. Tell me your feelings.