The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival brings in thousands of people to the county, and this year’s event is expected to be its biggest yet.
Festival director Patti Jo Lambert said that registration is well ahead of where it was at this time last year.
She said that 619 people have registered, which is a 45 percent increase over the 426 Jeep owners who had registered a year ago at this time.
The event at Cooper’s Lake over Father’s Day weekend will run from June 13-15.
Lambert called the uptick in registrations “really phenomenal” and said the festival this year could break the attendance record. She said more than 1,550 people registered their Jeeps last year for the festival while more than 15,000 people attended the event.
“We’re pretty blown away,” Lambert said about herself and a crew of about 30 volunteers. “We knew the numbers were good, but we didn’t know they were this good.”
In addition, the festival director said that nearly 500 people already have registered for the Jeep invasion that will take place June 13 in downtown Butler. That number is more than 70 people ahead of what it was last year at this time.
The Jeep invasion is when owners line up their vehicles on downtown streets for an evening.
So far, Lambert said, there are festival participants registered from 24 states and Canada. The farthest away so far is a person coming from California.