Corvette owners and enthusiasts cruised into Effingham for a weekend of fast cars, food, and live music. The Mid America Motorworks Corvette Funfest kicked off at 5 p.m. Friday with a pre-party at the Effingham Performance Center.
Enthusiasts from all over gathered outside the performance center to get acquainted with the city, see a variety of unique Corvettes, and talk to other Corvette owners.
Among the many Corvette owners at Friday’s pre-party were Kelly and Janet Murphy, who drove their white 2002 C5 Corvette approximately four hours from their home in Bushnell, Illinois to attend the funfest.
Kelly Murphy said this was he and his wife’s 17th time attending the event. The Murphys hoped for a good outcome because the event has gotten smaller over the years. Janet Murphy said she began to notice couples giving up their Corvettes after the 2008 housing crisis, and the recent pandemic didn’t help raise numbers either.
“We saw the corral out there, full of used Corvettes,” she said.
Fast cars have been an important part of Kelly Murphy’s life since he was a young man. In fact, he used to race stock cars until he wrecked his in 2004. He said this is partially what led him to purchase a Corvette in the first place.
“I crashed one on the way home and she said ‘I’m not doing this any more,’ and I said ‘I’m not doing this any more,’” he said of the decision to buy a Corvette. “She would say, ‘Lets skip the Harley and get a really nice Corvette.’”
Kelly displayed his impressive knowledge of Corvettes, naming nearly every model as it entered the parking lot. At one point he pointed what he called a replica of an Indy 500 pace car.
“Those are rare, those are hard to find,” he said of the particular model.
He is also quite up to date on the development of new models and says he has been fascinated with how much Corvettes have changed over the years. He predicts an electric Corvette could be coming soon.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see an electric Corvette someday. It’s coming, it’s coming,” he said.
The event also featured live music from Doty and Dexter as well as food from vendors, including Homewood Grill and Slow Spark BBQ.
The event continues Saturday with a car show, which will include a variety of unique Corvettes for enthusiast to check out.
The event is free and open to the public.
Next year’s Corvette Funfest is already being planned. It’s scheduled for Sept. 14-16, 2023.