GREENUP — The Corvette Funfest's road tour will culminate Thursday evening in Greenup, which is about 75 miles southeast of Decatur, where a party will be held downtown for tour participants and the general public.
Mid America Motorworks of Effingham plans to host its 24th annual Corvette Funfest from Thursday to Sunday and has scheduled this event's 2017 Fun Run Road Tour to start at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Participating Corvette enthusiasts will head out from the Mid America Motorworks campus, 2900 N. Third St., and travel through rural Effingham County on their way to Greenup's Downtown Party, set for 5-8 p.m.
Greenup Chamber of Commerce President Kyle Berghbower said the Corvette convoy, which may include up to 1,000 participants, will take old U.S. Route 40 through the Jackson Truss Covered Bridge in Greenup on its way to the downtown.
The Cumberland Street main thoroughfare and other streets downtown will be closed to through traffic during the party to accommodate Corvette parking and the festivities, Berghbower said. The village hall grounds at the east end of downtown will host a classic rock concert by Smoke Wrench and a beer tent, while the Greenup Depot at the west end will host a country music concert by local artists.
Berghbower said the restaurants, boutiques, antique shops, craft shops and other merchants downtown will stay open during the party and offer specials. He said approximately 20 food booths, craft makers and other vendors have signed up for the party, as well. He added that the historic Greenup Depot and the Cumberland County Military Museum downtown will be open for tours that night.
Parking spaces alongside streets near the downtown will likely fill up quickly Thursday night, Berghbower said. Consequently, he said the party's organizers are offering rides to the downtown from the Cumberland County Fairgrounds and from Scott's Building Center in Greenup.
Berghbower said Mid America Motorworks approached Greenup about hosting the Downtown Party as a way of providing new area scenery for road tour participants to see during the Corvette Funfest. He said community leaders decided to host the party as a way to showcase recent business development downtown and Greenup in general.
"We love the idea. We think it's going to be a great fit," Berghbower said. "I think it is really going to be a good thing for our downtown retail business and a good thing for our whole community."
The chamber president noted that Mid American Motorworks is encouraging Corvette Funfest participants to visit Greenup at other points during this event. For example, the Corvette Funfest schedule on Friday includes an excursion to the Moonshine burger shack southeast of Casey in Clark County and to Cameo Winery and the Jackson Truss Covered Bridge in Greenup.
Corvette Funfest organizers also plan to hold a caravan to the Coles County Dragway in Charleston for a new Corvette drag race event there at 4 p.m. Thursday. More information about the Funfest is available online at corvettefunfest.com.