|July 26, 2010
Text: Kris Hansen
Photos: Kris Hansen and Joel Boucher
What would summer be for an Audi enthusiast without attending at least one really good car show? For those of us in the Northeast, there is only one must attend show Waterfest. Now in its 16th year (yes, the show is old enough to drive now!), Waterfest is a full fledged, well polished, fully encompassing automotive event. It now appears to be a proven formula, and while nothing major was changed with the show over the past few years (which is ok with us!), each coming year at Waterfest bring new participants, new vendors, new racers, and so on.
The only thing the organizers have no control over, is of course, the weather. As with last year, it was incredibly hot at Waterfest 16. We saw temperatures in the very high 90s, with strong sun, and somewhat high humidity. Thankfully organizers were running sprinklers in various areas, and several vendors were nicely providing cute girls with water guns to cool off unsuspecting passersby.
This was the 11th time Waterfest was held at Raceway Park in Englishtown NJ, and we cant imagine why anyone would want to hold this event anywhere else. Not only is Raceway Park enormous, but its also well equipped to deal with the crowd size, and the activities that take place at Waterfest.
Take the drag racing for example. Raceway Parks NHRA drag strip is professionally operated, maintained, and is incredibly safe for participants AND spectators. Its a blast to watch too. The staging area is also home to the burnout contest, which is always a crowd favorite.
Then move on to the autocross school. Youd think that with the huge vendor area, and the huge show and shine lot, there would be no room left over for a decent autocross. Youd be wrong. The parking lots at Raceway Park are so huge that there is room for a fairly large autocross course in addition to everything else at Waterfest.
In between youll find hundreds upon hundreds of VWs and Audis, mostly modified, some stock, old and new. We saw some really nicely turned out cars this year, its clear that the thirst for modifying cars has not been quenched, and were excited about that.
The largest area of the Waterfest midway is the Vendor area. Here can be found everything from new car dealers, such as Bell Audi from nearby Edison NJ, ECU upgrades from tuners such as REVO tuning, Ross Tech was there with their awesome diagnostic cables and software, vendors were selling wheels, tires, suspensions, lights, and so on. There were even several used parts vendors, who seemed to be incredibly busy.
For people looking for deals on parts for their cars, Waterfest is a great place to shop. Honestly, we feel that the vendor section is a huge part of the allure ofr Waterfest. It certainly is nice to be able to meet and chat up the various vendors face to face, who otherwise would only be available on the phone, or via email. Based on the armloads of parts we witnessed being carried out to the various parking lots, people were spending money and finding deals.
We had a great time at Waterfest 16! We had a bunch of really nice Audis and their owners come and hang out with us in the AudiWorld area, we met lots of new people, vendors, and saw lots of really nice cars! The drag racing seemed a bit under participated, but that didnt cause spectators from staying away, at one point on Sunday, the main stands were very full. It was the same at the dyno. In years past, we used to see a long line for the dyno, this year it didnt seem to be the case. Its easy to say that it seemed like the numbers were down this year, but we tend to say that every year, so its hard to say. We’re told by Waterfest organizers that the total attendance for Waterfest 16 was down about 500 compated to last year, which puts it at 20,500 for 2 days. Having said that, and based on the number of cars we saw, it sure felt like Sunday was as busy as last year.
AudiWorld loves Waterfest, and were already looking forward to next year!