Eau Claire - More than 400 “sun and fun lovers” in more than 200 convertibles of all makes and vintages will begin arriving in Eau Claire today. The group will spend four days in Wisconsin’s historic and scenic Chippewa Valley as the Fifth Annual OpenAir Classic Tour visits Northwest Wisconsin and the Great River Road August 19-22, 2010. The tour will cruise scenic back roads, river valleys and country lanes, stop at dozens of shops, scenic overlooks and historic sites and enjoy a Classic Rave-On Concert (sorry – for the participants only) on Aug. 21 featuring award-winning Buddy Holly impersonator, Mark Surilla of Milwaukee.
The public is invited to see the cars on Saturday, Aug 21 at the parking lot bordered by Farwell, Dewey, Gray and Lake Streets – near the Schlegelmilch House.
Additional opportunities to see the cars as they tour the area will be:
FRIDAY: (Times approximate)
- Leaving Carson Park 8-10AM
- DURAND: At the Travel Mart and Rolling Hills Golf Course 10-1PM
- WABASHA & RED WING MN – 11:00AM to 3:00PM
- STOCKHOLM, WI: 10:00AM-3:30PM
- EAU CLAIRE – Water Street (8:30-Noon)
- MENOMONIE – (9:30 AM -2:00PM)
- COLFAX – (10:00 AM-2:20 PM)
- EAU CLAIRE – Concours as noted above 3:00-5:00PM
This is the second year in a row that the OAC has been based in Eau Claire, the first time the OAC has used the same headquarters city two years in a row. Tour founder and co-director Gary Knowles of Madison, WI, said, “This is one of the most beautiful areas of the Midwest. Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley have spectacular back roads, friendly communities, excellent hotels and fine dining and performance venues close at hand. Throw in the outstanding support of the professional staff at “Visit Eau Claire” and it’s a superior destination.”
Mike Peroutka of Green Bay, co-director, added, “This is auto fun at its best. Convertible owners love to explore out-of-the-way places, see new scenery, drive twisty roads, get out and experience the full grandeur of the natural world from horizon to horizon. They get more pleasure per gallon and enjoy every moment of this good life.”
The OAC welcomes any convertible of any make or vintage. The non-competitive OpenAir Classic tour requires no prior touring or cruise experience. Though the 2010 tour is now filled convertible owners are welcome to become members of the group and tour in 2011. The 2011 dates will be August 18-21 and the destination headquarters will be announced in January 2011. The number of entries is always limited to around 200 to ensure all participants have a top quality experience.
“The OpenAir Classic is intentionally limited to just about 200 convertibles and some 400 drivers and navigators to ensure everyone has the ultimate touring experience,” Knowles said. “We love to lead our participants into spectacular nooks and crannies and discover ‘hidden gems’ that give the Great Lake States such extraordinary charm and character.
Full details are at www.OpenAirTours.com Organizers note that the grid always fills quickly with members so anyone interested in joining the tour in 2011 is strongly encouraged to download membership materials and sign up now. A winter gathering-party for members called “The OpenAir Conditioner” is held in Madison on the non-NFL playoff weekend in January. The next August tour destination is announced at that event.