January 17, 2011
Out of the winter cold and into the warm Arizona sunshine, vehicles, participants and spectators from around the country swarmed to the shores of Lake Havasu, for the 15th annual Buses by the Bridge event. Some braved the elements and drove, some flew, but all were determined to be a part of this fun event which was one of the biggest and best yet!
Hundreds of VW Buses, some accompanied by other VW vehicles, camped on the grass, in the trees, along the channel and on the beach, in Arizona’s Lake Havasu State Park at Windsor Beach.
Participants and spectators – adults and kids alike – were entertained with a variety of activities such as bus painting, kids‘ coloring contest and bouncy buildings, chili cook-off and kite flying.
Even Walter the Bus joined the fun and sat proudly among the other buses as one of family. Visitors were invited to climb aboard and take in the view from the top deck. At night Walter offered ‘top floor’ dancing with neon lights flashing in time with a great music beat; and on Sunday, as the event came to a conclusion, Walter took a bus load of guests for a ride.
Raffle tickets were sold by the hundreds for prizes including,(among the usual t-shirts, drink cups, and key chains,) a handmade VW Bus Quilt, custom fire-buckets, a slot machine, a transmission, and the grand prize: a VW Engine!
Some didn’t wait for the raffle drawing, searching for and purchasing parts set out for sale among the campers and vendors. Also for sale were event t-shirts, tie-dyed tees and other items, VW designs, and toys.
A random group of participants were given Ballots and asked to choose their 10 favorite buses. The ‘Top 20’ buses were recognized and given specially engraved Coleman camping lanterns.
With bragging rights as the first campout of the year, Buses By the Bridge is put on each January by the London Bridge Bullies, a group of VW Bus enthusiasts in Lake Havasu City, AZ. Proceeds from the event are shared with children of Lake Havasu City through various local organizations.