By Jana Life
Thousands of people braved the intense humidity and threatening rain during Toledo’s first Jeep Fest, which celebrated a vehicle that has inspired a culture of fun since the tradition of Jeep began almost 80 years ago, with the production of the CJ model used for military purposes.
It seemed that many residents of the 419 area and Jeep lovers everywhere had been waiting for this event since that first car rolled off the assembly line at the Toledo Jeep plant, which has since been demolished.
The morning parade boasted over 700 vehicles, and there were about 900 at the day-long event. There were old Jeeps and new Jeeps, and clean Jeeps and Jeeps covered in mud.
The condition didn’t matter. Each owner drove through the downtown streets with pride, and the gawkers looked on in awe. From the youngest children to the oldest war veterans, it was as if everyone came out that day to say, ‘Look at this amazing little car that has brought us so much joy, and we made it right here in our own town.’
All day, downtown Toledo was teeming with complete and utter pride. With every Wrangler t-shirt and every devoted fan crowded around their precious cars, it was an aura of bliss in being surrounded by hundreds of people who were all thinking the same thing: Jeeps. Are. Awesome.
But especially, there was a quiet satisfaction in knowing that not one person that day would have to shake their head and utter the seven words every Jeep owner has said at one time or another:
“It’s a Jeep thing, you wouldn’t understand.”