UPDATE: Our 2016 Checker Convention
Copyright 2016 - Checker Car Club of America
Wheels have been turning on the 2016 Checker Convention, and I have a few more details for you. Again, this is my hometown, and Marni and I are excited to have you all over to visit.
Beyond the itinerary that we’ve been planning for you, there is so much to do in the Hershey/Harrisburg area. You might want to consider what people in the hotel industry call a “shoulder” date. They will extend our group block rate a day or two on either side of the weekend, if you want to come early or stay late. That way, you can visit some of the bigger, all-day attractions that may have a little more of a niche appeal. For example, Jim Garrison is thinking about coming down early to see the Gettysburg battlefield. Some of you with younger kids might want to spend a day at Hershey Park. Whatever you choose to do, I think that a very good time is in store for everyone.
DAY ONE (Thursday - June 23):
The first official day of check-in is Thursday. Our group block is secured at the Hampton Inn and Springhill Suites, about 8 miles outside of Hershey in suburban Harrisburg. This is a unique situation. The two hotels are side-by-side, and they are managed by the same staff. So while our hospitality room is in the Hampton Inn, we may find that a few reservations may be at the Springhill Suites next door (depending on number of reservations – they are working with us to keep our costs down). They are very clean and modern hotels. The Hampton Inn is only 2 years old, and the Springhill Suites is about 7 years old. There is free breakfast in both buildings, as well as pools and exercise rooms.
Rate: $139/night for one King
$159/night for two Queens
*Please bear in mind that the going rate in Hershey-proper, with the popularity of the amusement park in the summertime, is around $300/night!
Then, as a group, we will head into Hershey and dive into the history of chocolate at The Hershey Story Museum. This is a great overview of the history of the town, Milton Hershey, the man and his legacy.
Cost: $8.50/adult; $5 after 5 p.m. Our reservation is for 60 people.
Afterward, we will have an optional, pay your own way, casual dinner at Your Place restaurant. It’s a local pizza place with amazing Stromboli and a bar. It’s right down the street from the hotel, and has a large parking lot. It will be a great place for a meet-and-greet with all of the later arrivals. They are expecting us … well, about 60 of us.
DAY TWO (Friday - June 24):
We’re heading about 30 minutes away to York, PA. We’ll be touring the Harley-Davidson plant. Our group reservation is at 10 am. By the time we get everyone through the plant, it will be lunch time. I am still working on lunch plans.
Tour Cost: FREE
We have a reservation for 60 at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. It is an amazing piece of architecture, and a palace of art inside. We will be broken into a few pockets and given a personal tour with a tour guide.
Tour Cost: FREE
We’ll have dinner on our own, and plenty of down time to hang out and socialize at the hotel with our Checkers.
DAY THREE (Saturday - June 25):
Breakfast and Board meeting at the hotel. Please note that the Board meeting is for CCCoA members only.
We’re going to have a car corral at the Antique Auto Club of America’s National Museum in Hershey. We will park our cars on their property, on display for all to see. We will be working with the museum’s publicity machine and reaching out to get the general public here to see us. We should have great visibility on a summer weekend at the AACA Museum.
Lunch will be available, as we’re planning a couple of food trucks to be there. There is a fee to register the car, but in turn you’re given one admission to the museum, so it’s kind of a wash. While we’re all together there, you can go into the museum. Make sure you see the Checker bus that is on the basement exhibit floor.
Cost per car: $8 (includes one free museum ticket)
Museum Admission beyond first free one: $9.50
Note: Normal admission is $12; $11 for Seniors; $9 for children ages 4-12
*I wanted to keep the banquet here too, but they have a wedding at the museum in the evening, and it was booked months and months ago. So we’ll have to depart from the museum by 4:30pm, or so.
Afterward, we’ll head back to the hotel to freshen up before the banquet. The banquet is still a work in progress, but it’s become more and more in focus. Like any good host, I want you to experience the pride and heritage of my home. So I have arranged for a bona fide Amish caterer.
We will have a buffet-style dinner including PA Dutch staples such as ham loaf, buttered noodles, fried chicken, and whoopee pies. Organizing this has been a real kick, because while the caterer has a website, (being Amish) he doesn’t maintain it or communicate through it. An “English” friend of his collects his messages for him. I got a phone call later, and a hand-written menu in the mail! A venue is coming. Bringing in an outside caterer like this eliminates many facilities, because they want you to use their preferred caterer or their in-house staff. It may end up being at the local VFW hall, but I thought you’d all appreciate the food more than the walls around you. I’ve got Michael Pincus and myself still actively looking for, and wooing a few guest speakers, but nothing is firm yet. Then, back to the hotel for more time together.
DAY FOUR (Sunday - June 26):
Breakfast and check-out. Say goodbye and socialize some more.
If you have any questions, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to seeing you all again.
Ed and Maren Fox