Here in Highlands, North Carolina – on this plateau along the Southern Appalachian Mountain range – a celebration of sorts will soon take place. It is a peering into the window of America’s fascination with all things automotive, a breathless look into that wayward longing for the open road.
Here at The Park on Main®, the luxury hotel in this small town exemplifying the finer elements of Americana, we direct your attention to the Highlands Motoring Festival, which runs June 11-14.
Hundreds gather to explore and to experience the historic phases of the automobile along the American landscape as it evolved into the manufacture of sleek, well-designed, mean machines. Each new innovation pointed to a newly discovered aspect of the human personality – its utility, its angst, its longing for exploration, its uninhibited reach for the unattainable and its low-speed drive to fulfill the mundane tasks of everyday living.
It is – in these United States – the automobile, unabashedly defining us. We are, essentially, what and how we drive.
The Mercedes to Take Top Billing
This is, officially, the 8th Annual Highlands Motoring Festival. This year’s event – at the city’s Recreation Park – salutes the Mercedes, the more mature models, 1989 and earlier. While many other makes and models will be on display, this Mercedes is the festival’s Marque of the Year.
While the festival proffers a salute to the automotive side of the American tradition, other events are planned as well, including a golf outing and social at Highlands Cove Country Club and the Opening Party later that day, on June 11. The party will be held at the Ugly Dog Pub – which we at pet-friendly The Park on Main® do not take as an affront.
Drives, parties and other celebrations are scheduled throughout the event, including the Sunday Road Rally and Brunch on June 14. Get more information at http://highlandsmotoringfestival.com/.
On June 12, event goers may participate in the popular day drive, which helps the Literacy Council of Highlands, this year’s charity. The One Lap of the Mountains will lead motorists through a full day of driving through North Carolina’s mountains.
The History of Festival Started
The festival as a fundraiser was launched in 2007 during a Rotary Club of Highlands meeting. More than 110 vehicles were displayed at the first festival in September 2008. Hudson Library was the festival’s charity recipient that year and for the following year’s event.
The Rotary Club of Highlands and the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society were primary charity recipients during the festival’s third and fourth years, 2009 and 2010.
Successive festivals were scheduled for July to accommodate better weather conditions.
Some of the cars in this year’s show include a 1965 Porsche 356C Cab, a 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe, a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300d “Adenauer”, a 2015 Lamborghini Huracan, a 1972 Ferrari 246 GT, a 1955 Jaguar XK 140 MC Roadster and a 1968 Mercedes Benz 280 SL.
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