The 9th Annual Celebration Exotic Car Festival, benefitting children’s charities, will be held April 12-15. This four-day world-class event was named “One of the 5 Best Exotic Car Shows in the World” by Made Man magazine, ranking with other events in Paris, Geneva and Monte Carlo. The 2012 Festival will be bigger and better than ever, with new activities and venues, and even more exotic cars, race cars and famous movie and television cars.
The Festival is organized by a small team of dedicated volunteers from Celebration and Orlando. Through the efforts of this event, nearly $800,000 has been donated to children’s charities, including Make-a-Wish, Special Olympics and Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital.
The weekend will start on Thursday, April 12th with two track days and Ferrari races at the world famous Daytona International Speedway. More than 100 of the exotic cars and race cars will be running at full speed on the 3.6 mile Daytona Rolex 24 circuit. A special feature each afternoon will be a vintage Ferrari Challenge Race, with owner-drivers of Ferrari Challenge race cars competing for individual and team trophies.
The Festival continues in Celebration on Friday April 13th with the Prime Time Steak Out dinner and party. This welcome party will be held at Lakeside Park in Celebration, and will include a steak and prime rib BBQ catered by 4 Rivers Smokehouse. Guests will then dance the night away with New York’ ultimate party band, Prime Time. Tickets for this party are available on the Celebration Exotic Car Festival website.
The Concours of Exotic Cars will take place on Saturday, April 14th, with 250 exotic cars, race cars and Hollywood movie cars lined up along Celebration’s picturesque lakefront promenade. The world-class show was attended by nearly 40,000 spectators in 2011. Cars from Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Bugatti, McLaren, Lotus, DeLorean, Pantera, Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Spyker and many others will be displayed. Admission is free for spectators.
Special features at this year’s event will include the Back to the Future DeLorean. Several of the stars from the film, including Lea Thompson (Lorraine McFly) and Claudia Wells (Jennifer Parker) will also be at the event. Fans of the movie Dumb and Dumber will get the chance to see the original “Mutt Cutts” van alongside the Lamborghini Diablo from the film. Other movie cars, including the Cannonball Run Lamborghini Countach, the 1966 Batmobile, the Star Wars Land Speeder, the Plymouth Fury from the Stephen King film Christine, Speed Racer’s Mach V, the Flintstones car, and Herbie will be on display along with a few other surprises.
Saturday evening, April 14th will be the Festival’s annual Food and Wine Party. This high-energy event has been described as the “party of the year,” and now has a spectacular new location. The event has been renamed Food & Wine at Portofino and will be held harborside at the stunning Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. A virtual duplication of the beautiful seaside town of Portofino, Italy, this waterfront setting is the ideal location for guests to enjoy fine wines and incredible cuisine. More than 50 local restaurants and renowned celebrity chef’s join to prepare a world-class culinary extravaganza. Called a “Star-Studded Culinary Event” by Scott Joseph of the Orlando Restaurant Guide, the evening also features a display of exotic cars, live music and performance artists, as well as silent and live charity auctions.
Several celebrity chefs from the Bravo television show “Top Chef” will also be on hand to prepare their most famous dishes at the event, including Michael Voltaggio, Kevin Spraga, and Kenny Gilbert. Voltaggio’s new Los Angeles restaurant, “ink” was just named the “Best New Restaurant in America” by GQ magazine.
The Food & Wine party attracts guests from all over the country, and has been attended by numerous Hollywood and sports celebrities over the years. This year’s guest list includes Carl Weathers (Rocky), Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore), Patrick Warburton (Rules of Engagement), Luke Wilson (Old School) and several reality TV stars including James Clement and Russell Hantz of Survivor. Ticket for this must-attend evening are also available on the Festival’s website.
The event keeps going on Sunday, April 15th, with the annual Exotic Car Road Rally. Departing Celebration under police escort, more than 100 exotic cars will compete in this fun and competitive rally, which will conclude back in Celebration for an awards lunch at cafe D’Antonios.
Visit www.celebrationexoticcars.com for registration and ticket information.