Winterfest 2014 at Tampa’s Executive Airport was a part of a 3-year series. The first Winterfest was hosted at Route 46 in Sanford Orlando. ILDS was able to host a successful car event that also featured a toy for tots drop off. In 2012 route 46 closed their doors and ILDS was forced to find a new venue. Keeping the event closer to Tampa was one of the main goals and ILDS was able to work out a deal with the Tampa’s Executive Airport.
Doing an Airport event wasn’t easy. ILDS had to build the event from scratch. There were also plenty of precautions that the average car show goer had to adjust to. The event was on a live airstrip. Planes taking off and landing, oil tanks with in yards, one entrance, and a residential neighborhood near by. Yet for a diverse platform, ILDS wanted to do something that our Tampa area would embrace. It’s uncommon for a car show to be hosted at an Airport and we executed that.
As Winterfest grew so did the number of attendees. ILDS also decided to do more to keep the event entertaining. Since 2013 we’ve instilled a raffle, which will always stay with the event. 2013 we gave away a brand new Honda Ruckus and in 2014 we gave away a vinyl car wrap. We also team up with one of Tampa’s best All Styles Dance organizers to host our re-occurring Dance Jam. Cotton Candy was also something that has become popular amounts Winterfest as we try to attract families to come out with their younger ones. 2013 allowed us to feature Helicopter rides at our event. As you can tell we really strived to have things for people to do in around the show.
2014’s Winterfest was our biggest event yet. We were able to double our attendance and proved that our Airport venue was too small. Winterfest was able to feature the Fresh100, which worked with the theme keep it fresh Winterfest. It’s unknown if we would ever organize the fresh100 ever again. However, there was plenty of planning involved from packing 100 presents and hand tying the bows. Also the car selection process was also done very quickly. You submitted photos and told us the direction you were going for with your car and we had our judges vote for the cars that best suit each class. ILDS took a holistic approach for the fresh100 as we didn’t save spaces for anyone. You got picked you paid the admission and you were in. Once show car tickets were available online anyone was able to enter to win best of show. We filled the car show area to 90% with online tickets using the previous year’s total car count. Giving a 10% buffer for the last minute day of cars. The entire event was well planned from beginning to end. We expected this year’s event to be packed at around 12noon. However, a combination of being shorted on spectator lot space as well as having such an excess of spectators blocking traffic all the way from the airport to Hwy 301 we were instructed by the county officials to get the traffic off of the HWY in 30mins or the event would be shut down. This caused us to close down our show area gate, and turn many cars around. With the great residents of the neighborhood, awesome police officers, and diligent ILDS staff we were able to get the traffic off of the HWY to save the event. There were plenty of friends, coworkers, longtime fans, out of town fans, ticket holders, and family caught up in the traffic and even asked to leave.
We at ILDS will like to make a HUGE apology to everyone that was unable to experience Winterfest this year. We would like to thank you for your patience and loyalty. We have provided refunds all week to those that have contacted us by email. (Deadline for refunds: 12/22) We do feel bad for the ones that were unable to get into the event as we had invested and made provisions to have you there. On the other hand, our feedback from everyone that was able to get into the event was that it was well planned, managed and they had a great time. Many of our vendors are re-occurring vendors and are excited for the next installment of Winterfest.
Keeping the Winterfest event alive, ILDS Staff has been working diligently after the last event to get another venue lined up for Winterfest 2015. We are very fortunate to say that we were able to find our new venue. With the ability to host the event outside of the airport and still accommodate, helicopter rides, free cotton candy, All styles dance jam, many more cars, and enough space for over 10 thousand spectators. YES you have space! Yes you wouldn’t have a 2hr wait! Yes your online ticket will get you parked much faster! Yes multiple entrances! Winterfest 2015 mark the date. 12/12/15. Location will be released in 1st Quarter 2015.