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21 will pile into VW Bug in attempt to reclaim Guinness World Record | Events

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21 will pile into VW Bug in attempt to reclaim Guinness World Record
Events, Weird
21 will pile into VW Bug in attempt to reclaim Guinness World Record

Pasco County, Florida (via Ed Caum, Visit Pasco) -- The “Let It Be…etle” bus and any other Volkswagens imaginable. That’s what those attending the 23rd annual Pasco Bug Jam can expect, according to Carol Jeffares Hedman, event coordinator.

“Let It Be…etle” is the theme of this year’s Bug Jam, set for Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City. The Bug Jam traditionally draws more than 500 VWs in the show, plus hundreds of new and used parts vendors. There is also entertainment, children’s games, and food.

This year organizers also hope to reclaim their Guinness Book of World Record title for most people crammed into an old-style VW Beetle. They set that record in 2009 by squeezing 17 into an old Beetle at the Bug Jam, breaking the previous record of 15 set in 2008 in Brazil. But on Dec. 9, 2010, in Lexington, KY, a group of 20 young adults, primarily Asbury University students, crammed into a 1964 Volkswagen Beetle and broke the Bug Jam’s record.

“I was amazed when we got 17 into the old Bug. I don’t see how we can possibly get 21 in, but we’re going to try. We want the record back,” Hedman said. So, on Sunday, Nov. 13, at the 23rd annual Pasco Bug Jam, 21 people are going to try and reclaim the title for the most people crammed into an old-style VW Beetle. To comply with Guinness rules, all participants must be at least 5 feet tall and 18 or older. Rules also call for all seats, steering wheels, mirrors, and other interior equipment to be in place. Windows and doors must be closed and remain closed for at least 5 seconds.

The Pasco Bug Jam, the largest VW show in the Southeast and second largest in the country, is hosted by the Pasco County Fair Association Inc., a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. Proceeds from the Bug Jam go to non-profit organizations, including All Children’s Hospital and Suncoast Harvest Food Bank.

“Miles,” the spokescar, is planning on being at the Bug Jam to welcome fellow VWs and cheer on people trying to break his record. “Miles” will also have more information about Stop the Traffick Freedom Drive or persons can visit the website: www.sttfreedomdrive.com.

“Miles” will be just one of more than 500 Volkswagens expected to be entered in the 59 classes for pre-registered vehicles. Pre-registration for show entries is $25 and includes gate admission for two, a show shirt, dash plaque, and goody bag. The deadline to pre-register is Oct. 31. Pre-registration can be made and paid online at www.pascobugjam.com.

If space is available, day-of-show entries will be accepted for $25 cash but do not include show shirts or goody bags.

More than 7,000 attended last year’s Bug Jam, held annual on the second Sunday of November on the 40-acre Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, in Dade City. Spectator admission is $5 for adults, plus a can of food. Children ages 10 and younger are admitted for a can of food. Parking is $2. Spectator gates are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All proceeds go to charities, including Suncoast Harvest Food Bank that provides food to agencies helping needy people in Pasco and surrounding counties. In the past 20 years nearly 3 tons of food has been collected for the food bank by the Bug Jam. In addition, some $200,000 has been donated to All Children’s Hospital from the Bug Jam.

The Bug Jam was started in 1988 as a “thank you” to All Children’s Hospital by Jeannie and Al Brumley, of Land O’ Lakes, for the treatment of their infant niece when she had a life-threatening disease.

The first year there were 65 entries. But that soon grew to hundreds and eventually the event outgrew the original location. The Brumleys and their faithful volunteers continued to host the Bug Jam but eight years ago, with the number of volunteers dwindling, the non-profit Pasco County Fair Association took over hosting the event.

For more information about the Bug Jam, call the Pasco County Fair Office, (352) 567-6678, or visit the Web site: www.pascobugjam.com.

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