Event Coverage: Waterfest 24
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or that’s what they say anyway. Fact is, changing locations for a major car show is not something that is taken lightly, especially given the 16 years of history in the old location.
In the case of Waterfest, the change of venues from Raceway Park in Englishtown NJ to Acto Dragway in Atco NJ was made because of a change at Raceway Park. Over the winter, the owners of Raceway Park sold the drag strip, effectively ending drag racing in Englishtown. Apparently they are still holding events there, but Waterfefst organizers were keen to keep the drags happening, so they needed to find a new home.
From our perspective, the new location was good. Atco is an hour south from Englishtown, so it’s a lot farther for us to get to. It’s closer to Philadelphia than New York, but is a nice area with good hotels and easy access to anything you’d want. The lots are set much farther back the strip than they were at Englishtown, so when cars are running on the track, you really don’t notice it as much as you used to. Atco is certainly spacious though, we thought it was a great locale for a show.
One thing Waterfest 24 had going against it this year, other than an all new location, was the weather forecast. All week the weather looked pretty bad for the weekend. Consistent rain and even flood warnings as we got into the days before the show. This would not deter us, but we wonder how many potential show-goers were deterred.
Having said all of that, we arrived at Atco Dragway early, to find our spot and get our bearings. We found we had a huge space, which we shared with the fine folks from the Audi Club of North America. We proceeded to begin cleaning project allroad, and the TT RS we borrowed from Audi, just in time for it to start sprinkling. That was going to be the theme for the day as it turned out, as the sprinkles turned into a solid steady rain by mid-afternoon.
The saving grace for the weekend was that Sunday was forecast to be glorious, and it was for the most part. The sun shone, and people came. They even ran cars on the drag strip, though we never managed to go see it happen, which is a shame. There was one brief period of rain in the afternoon, but that was it.
All in all, we think that Waterfest 24 was a great success considering everything that was working against the show in it’s new location. We’re certain the weather kept some folks away, as possibly did the drive, but we saw plenty of really great cars and plenty of crowds.
With any luck weather won’t be an issue next year, and we’re looking forward to seeing what Atco will have in store.