Motorworks Funfest for Air-Cooled VW 2019
In the summer of 1999, Mike Yager and the
team at Mid America Motorworks hosted a laid-back
Volkswagen show in appreciation of their VW
customers. A few hundred VWs and their enthusiastic
owners came to the event in Effingham, Illinois
to celebrate the hobby. By the early 2000s,
Funfest for Air-Cooled VW had grown to welcome
thousands of VWs over the course of the weekend.
This casual event as grown to become one of
the must-attend VW shows of the year in the
Midwest, welcoming guests from across the
United States and around the world.
Funfest does put special focus on classic
Volkswagens, we know that the VW passion spans
generations and we welcome all models of Volkswagens
to the show. Over the years, we have also
welcomed a number of noteworthy guests, including
Bruce Meyers, the creator of the Meyers Manx
Dune Buggy; Joaquin Garay III, star of Herbie
Goes Bananas; and Damon Ristau, filmmaker
of "The Bus Movie" and "The
Bug Movie." According to Mike Yager,
"It has been especially gratifying for
us to be able to host Funfest for Air-Cooled
VW on our campus and meet our customers face-to-face.
It's one of the few times a year when we get
to connect with everyone, hear their stories,
see their cars and enjoy the hobby! Once you
attend Funfest, you usually make a point of
attending every year."
Funfest 2019 ended with a bang, just like
it started! With the free camping, some left
a day early to travel and get setup! Other
trickled in at the same time we did and over
the next few days. This event has something
for just about everyone! From all sorts of
Volkswagens, activities for kids and adults,
and events that go on all day and into the
eve. This year it was Herbie's 50th celebration!
No matter if you camp or just cruise in the
Funfest is always worth coming to. People
travel minutes to hours to reach the huge
piece of property that holds Funfest.
Meet and Greets
Fun-run cruise into the town of Effingham
Free give away/shopping/Awards
A brand-new engine raffle
Technical advice and shop work
Stein Hoist Competition/Beer Tent
Donations to St. Jude
Inflatables for kids/Face painting
goody bags are great, the employees are always
warm and welcoming and technically you don't
ever have to leave once on-site as it has
every amenity. You can always count on a great
swap meet at funfest, with affordable prices!
The weather this year was great, but you had
to deal with the strong winds, which beats
the heat wave in years past. The Yager family
is approachable and friendly as ever, and
are willing to take this event to the next
level, while listening to advice. Matter of
fact, they met us at our grounds when we arrived,
knowing of us and out location from the past!
Bug Award Winner - Ronald Richeson
a young boy, Ronald Richeson was surrounded
by Volkswagens. His father, Charles, ran a
local VW repair shop in the town of Waterloo,
Ill. It's no surprise that Charles Richeson's
passion and love for the VW became an integral
part of his son Ronald's upbringing and lifetime
hobby. Emily Richeson has nominated Ronald
(her father-in-law) to receive the Platinum
Bug Award this year.
are many things I could say about my father-in-law
about his love for Volkswagens; however, his
dedication to Volkswagen goes far beyond loyalty.
He is genuinely an enthusiast for Volkswagen."
Not only does Ronald own many Volkswagens
and drives them as much as humanly possible,
he continues in his father's footsteps as
a second generation Volkswagen mechanic and
hobbyist. Ronald is known to spend countless
hours in his garage working on his Volkswagens
and those of others too. In his daily life,
he promotes and preserves the hobby by ensuring
his father, sons, and grandsons are also engaged
in the hobby. His father still has his own
dune buggy, and his sons are building or rebuilding
their own Volkswagens as well.
learning about Volkswagens, working on them,
driving in them, or spending time around them
(at car shows) Ronald is always trying to
pass on his passion for Volkswagens to the
next generation," said Emily. "Ronald
is currently teaching/helping my husband,
his eldest son, to build a 1957 Volkswagen
Beetle; along with working on other Volkswagen
projects." Spending a lifetime in the
industry, Ronald is the leader of the Buggy
Meister Volkswagen group. The Buggy Meisters'
have four generations of Richeson's on their
Club Roster. Attending car cruises, shows
and events including Funfest for Air-Cooled
VW is how they spend their leisure time. Emily
believes Ronald is the ideal nominee for this
year's Platinum Bug Award. He is a "long
-term Volkswagen enthusiast and promoter of
preserving Volkswagens," Emily said.
He is also committed to passing on the hobby
and tradition of being a Volkswagen owner/enthusiast
to the next generation.
you have not attended a Funfest for Air-Cooled
VW, please book and schedule your time for
2020, as I hear it going to be fantastic!