Butler Enterprises hosted Gainesville’s First Annual European Car Show last Saturday, October 23rd, at Butler Town Center in the two parking lots adjacent to The Cheesecake Factory and Grub Burger Bar on Archer Road.
The car show drew thousands of spectators and over 100 European vehicles to Butler Town Center on a beautiful Saturday morning. The Medicine Show, a local classic rock band, played music from all the decades as car enthusiasts came out en masse. Butler retailers such as Athleta, Kilwins, CycleBar, and Nothing Bundt Cakes set up tents and engaged with attendees. Additionally, Grub Burger Bar opened early to offer $2 mimosas and french fries.
“This is a really great opportunity for our area,” said Staci-Ann Bertrand, vice president of economic development for the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. “Adding the love for European cars is great because we’re bringing in people from our surrounding counties as well as within the Gainesville area to this car show.”
Bertrand said that events like these stimulate the local economy by bringing in new tourists to the area. “It helps to diversify the types of people that are here,” Bertrand added. “The people that come into the area patronize our businesses, our retail stores, and so it is really good for our business opportunities.”
The inaugural European Car Show doubled as a fundraiser by partnering with the United Way of North Central Florida, a non-profit focusing on education, financial stability, and health for families. The European Car Show raised $4,000 for our local chapter.
Title Sponsors were Continental Imports, Audi Gainesville, Werkshop49, Charles Schwab, BMW of Gainesville, and Porsche of Ocala. As spectators meandered through the rows of vehicles, one thing was clear — the Gainesville car collectors can certainly impress the crowds.
Continental Imports had an incredible lineup of luxury vehicles, including Rolls Royce, Lamborghinis, Ferrari, and Mercedes G-Wagons. Werkshop49 showed off a collection of classic BMWs and European vehicles tuned by the shop. BMW of Gainesville, Porsche of Ocala, and Audi of Gainesville brought out their latest models to show off to the crowd. Charles Schwab joined the cause to support the United Way of North Central Florida. Vendors and local car clubs in attendance included Winning Edge Car Wash, Safe Parc Parking Solutions, Gator Motorsports, T-Mobile, Drive Florida, Hesketh Racing, and Gainesville Cars and Coffee.
Located in the center of the show was a line of cars nicknamed “Exotic Alley.” “These were the ones that got us jumping up and down when we saw them register on the website,” says Elizabeth Scott, director of community and events at Butler Enterprises. David Bridges’ Heritage Motors built replica 1934 Mercedes 500K Roadster was on display in this premier location.
“It’s just a way to give back to the community. Since all the proceeds go to United Way, you know, it’s just a nice way for everyone to see the car, enjoy the car just as much as me and my wife enjoy the car,” Bridges said.
The First Annual European Car Show organizers are Elizabeth Scott, Director of Community and Events, and John Dickerson, Director of Marketing, from Butler Enterprises. Advisors for the show are Ted Kadala, Governor of the Florida Suncoast Official BMW Club, and Beau Beery.
The Butler Enterprises Marketing and Events Team is planning to host more car shows in the future, so if you’re interested in sponsorship or vendor opportunities, make sure to reach out in advance.