The weekend officially launches on Friday at 7 a.m. and continues through 3 p.m. Sunday. Over the span of three days, attendees can browse the Swap Meet, Car Corral and Manufactures Midway, while witnessing American history sprawled over the 150-acre facility. Special displays will be situated inside Buildings G, T and Y as part of the more than 2,500 Ford Motor Company brands on site. Along with the displays on the National Parts Depot Showfield, the Carlisle Expo Center will once again host the Ford Ride and Drive Experience, free test drives of the latest rides from Ford. The Expo Center is located less than two blocks from the fairgrounds and test drives are open to all drivers with a legal and valid license.
Carroll Shelby’s name sake takes center stage over the course of the weekend as Team Shelby Northeast and Shelby American, in collaboration with Carlisle Events and Summit Point Motorsports Park, celebrate a historic milestone - 50 years of Shelby American. Carlisle will be one of just a handful of locations nationwide to host this gathering and expectations are that it will be one of the largest of its type, possibly world-record worthy. As part of the gathering, at least 400 cars will be positioned just steps from the Manufactures Midway. Ford will be heavily represented as part of this gathering, allowing show goers the chance to interact with the people behind the brand.
In addition to the Shelby American gathering, Saturday night will feature the second annual Downtown Ford Parade and Street Party. The parade, presented by the Downtown Carlisle Association, will launch from just outside of the fairgrounds and move south on Hanover St., before cars spread out and park in and around the square of Carlisle. Live music will greet enthusiasts at two separate locations on the route and with the cars parked, revelers can interact with the cars and their owners as well as take the time to enjoy shopping and dining at downtown establishments.
“We are very excited to be an official stop on the 50th Anniversary Tour celebrating the birth of the Shelby,” noted event manager Rick Markko. “Add to that the Lightweight 427/406 reunion and this is going to be one very hot event that any true Blue Oval fan does NOT want to miss,” added Markko. “The 18th annual Ford Family Reunion looks to be the largest gathering to date and our downtown parade returns for its second year. I suggest you register very soon as prime territory and space in the parade is going to fill up fast.”
Additional activities throughout the weekend include a burnout competition, beauty contest and entertainment for the entire family. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the event with the Kids at Carlisle activities center, the Women’s Oasis, drag racing at Quarter Aces Drag-O-Way, autograph sessions, industry guests and so much more. With the Blue Oval as far as the eye can see, the 2012 Ford Nationals will be an elite Ford-branded event that is a must attend for men, women and children of all ages.