Volkswagens will star at Bug-O-Rama car show

Kelly Harper will have two Volkswagens in the Bug-O-Rama car show Saturday at Sedgwick County Park — a 1965 pickup, above, and a 1969 camper.
Kelly Harper will have two Volkswagens in the Bug-O-Rama car show Saturday at Sedgwick County Park — a 1965 pickup, above, and a 1969 camper. The Wichita Eagle

They may not carry quite the cache as European roadsters or American muscle cars, but Volkswagens have their fans – and their own local car show.

“They’re weird looking, so they’re interesting,” said Kurt Siegrist, an organizer of Saturday’s Bug-O-Rama at Sedgwick County Park.

Here are a few things to know about the show and the vehicles it celebrates:

▪  Setting aside the Volkswagen’s somewhat troubling beginnings as a pet project of Adolf Hitler, the automaker has produced three of the top 10 best-selling cars of all time: the Beetle, Golf and Passat.

▪  There may be more Volkswagen lines than you know. Saturday’s show will have classes for Beetles, Karmann Ghias, Squarebacks, buses and Sand Rails (a type of dune buggy) plus overall awards for things like best paint, interior and engine. Some “are so awesome they’ll come in on a trailer because (the owners) don’t even drive them, they’re so nice,” Siegrist said.

▪  This is the seventh year for Bug-O-Rama. It was started by “just a bunch of guys that thought Volkswagen cars were really cool,” Siegrist said. “It just kind of grew into a larger event.”

A group of Shriners started running it several years ago, devoting all proceeds to Shriners Hospitals for Children, and this year another group within the Shriners took over. They are raising money for the transportation fund used to send children to those hospitals.

“We’re hoping to make a lot of money and help a bunch of kids that need help to get to the hospital,” Siegrist said. “We help all the kids we can get our hands on.”

▪  To that end, registrations for entries in the show are still being accepted. For more information, visit facebook.com/events/436147253261618/. You can also register starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Registration on the day of the show is $30, plus $15 for a T-shirt.

The show is free to the public, although donations are welcome.

▪  Food trucks, face painting, a DJ spinning music and vendors selling everything from Tupperware to origami will be part of the event. Siegrist thinks the outdoor setting will be more fun than the parking garage where it was held last year.

“We’re going to be on the grass, under the trees. Hopefully the weather’s going to cooperate. (The forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-70s with a slight chance of showers.)

One vehicle that won’t be in the show is the VW Bug that Siegrist and his wife own. “That would require her to wash it,” he said.

Bug-O-Rama ICT

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sedgwick County Park shelter, 6501 W. 21st St. The shelter is near the 13th Street entrance.

Cost: Free