I awoke early Saturday morning and eagerly awaited the day’s event. After a quick stop for some morning coffee, the first order of the day was to put out event direction signs, many participants would have to make their way through a detour due to bridge construction which closed down east bound lanes. After pulling into the Graveyard around 6:30 AM I open the gate and head into the building. I came back out a few minutes later and found 8 trucks full of parts waiting to enter the swap meet area. After getting them parked some employees arrived and started to set up for the show.
Around 7AM, the Smoke Bones Barbeque crew arrived and started up their grills. With parking signs and trash barrels set up I headed up front to greet the bronco enthusiasts. By 8am the classic Bronco and swap meet participants began to pour in. We had moved the swap meet area behind the building, leaving the front lawn and two parking lots across the street for the show vehicles. With the weather looking good, 60 degrees and sunny, we could use our dry weather plan. In Michigan the weather could change at any time, we always have a dry and wet event layout plan.
I stood in the middle of the road, greeting people and giving directions to the event attendants. Paul Druc approached me with the news that we should expect about 150 to 200 Broncos and Trucks. Paul said that the buzz on the Internet was that people were excited to attend this year’s Broncorama. Not knowing what to expect with the shape of our economy, that was very good news to hear.
As the sun brightened the day, the broncos and spectator vehicles were now arriving in greater numbers. I thought to myself, “they just keep coming and coming”, that brought a smile to my face. The front lawn and swap meet area filled up quickly. By 10AM the other two show lots with 40 Trucks in one and 50 in the other had been filled. We had to start parking them up and down both sides of the street.
When putting on an event you want to improve and try to keep it fresh for the participants. This year we added a 50/50 raffle and the proceeds from that and the Broncorama shirts sold would go to the Operation Injured Soldiers fund. Each year we try to add more parts vendors to attend the show. This year we made it to over ten venders.
We have always kept the show a free event for the participants. Around 11AM, I looked around and most of the industrial park was packed full of bronco enthusiasts. The show was full and people were lining up out the front door to purchase parts with special Broncorama discount pricing. Later, as I walked around the show looking at all the beautifully constructed broncos and trucks I said to myself, “the quality of the vehicles just keeps getting better and better.”
Each year we try to gather more of the Roadster Broncos and U13’s with the help of Tim Hulick (U13roadster.com). We have seen a growing number each year, and now call this gathering the U13 Nationals. This year we also had four Baja Broncos in attendance. With the amount of broncos and trucks from stock to wild there is a Bronco that appeals to any bronco owners taste.
As the day rolled on we came to my favorite part of the event, the prize raffle. The support of our suppliers is over whelming. This year we gave away over $2500 worth of products and gift certificates. I would like to thank all of the sponsors who donated to the show; with to many sponsors to list I am grateful to all of them.
With 150-200 classic Broncos and Trucks in attendance and well over 1000 spectators we can deem this year’s event successful. Looking forward to next year’s event, which will be Broncorama X and our 25th anniversary of Bronco Graveyard. I hope that next year’s event is a better turnout than this year. I just want to take the time to personally thank all the customers over the years for their great support.
With growing swap meet participants, 100’s of Bronco and a warehouse full of new parts this is a bronco owner’s dreamland. If you like Broncos or Ford Trucks and want to attend an event full of Bronco lovers just like you, then come to next years Broncorama on the first Saturday in May 2010. You have my personal invitation to come and join in on all of next year’s fun.