Yet another year come and gone for one of the most highly anticipated shows of the season. With attendance skyrocketing, the town of Helen, GA was bursting at the seams as showgoers tested the limits of the local authorities, as well as their livers. In general the level of organization has kept pace with the growth and we would like commend Chris Cooley and Matt Bounds for their efforts as well as the townsfolk in Helen for not only allowing, but encouraging the event as a whole.
One key difference this year seemed to be the fact that people are showing up earlier and earlier to take advantage of the many other activities that Helen and the surrounding area has to offer. There is of course the usual and popular tubing, but others took to cycling, fishing, hiking, and even a round of golf in the days leading up the event. Much like H20 International, SoWo is becoming about more than just the show- it's a full on vacation destination and more people are making use of that.
It's also impossible not to notice another similarity to H20i in the fact that more and more non VAG vehicles are showing up. It's not certain whether this is a good or bad thing however- on the one hand the variety is interesting. We enjoyed the two vintage Mercedes on air casually cruising up and down the main the strip. On the other hand the belly scraping static Miatas were more like mosquitos, as they buzzed around causing trouble. We even witnessed one Miata owner attempt to "ghost ride his whip" - while parked, only to get back in his car and submit to the peer pressure burning out as he pulled away. He forgot to check his rearview mirror however and the police officer that was two cars back immediately pulled him over.
Banana costumes, masks, helmets, and signs were the norm though. Every conceivable mode of transportation was in effect from tiny motorcycles to Razor scooters. This made getting back and forth between the two sides of the river much more convenient as this ever expanding show is taking up more and more real estate each year. The locals have been generous, even going so far as to allow an all MK1 get together on the Cool River Tubing business' property. Close to 30 MK1s took over the parking lot as Noosh, who organized the swag, handed out t-shirts and stickers for all those that signed up. Elsewhere groups of BMWs congregated in their own makeshift sections offering a change of pace from the more common late model GTIs.
And if you were tired of staring at other people's cars and wanted to make some progress towards your own, there was no shortage of parts vendors this year with booths strewn all over the grounds. We'd like to thank everyone who stopped by to see us and picked up some products, or just said hello. Our MK3 1.8T Project made it down and back without a hitch and was on display along with our MK6 Jetta Diesel project.
Overall it was a great time, and we enjoyed seeing all of our friends and doing our traditional SoWo things (dinner at Old Bavarian, Big Daddy's etc. ). It was also good to meet some new people and put faces to names. We look forward to many more years to come as long as the good people of Helen will have us.