Car lovers rejoice — not even Hurricane Matthew’s devastation proved enough to stop the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance from racing into town next month.
The festival, which is in its 15th year, is scheduled for Nov. 5 and 6 at the Port Royal Golf Club on Hilton Head Island.
Storm recovery temporarily jeopardized the event, festival president Carolyn Vanagel said Monday.
“The reality is that you come back from a major hurricane and you don’t know what you’re facing,” she said. “But the whole event is happening as planned, and we are thrilled.”
In past years, many festivalgoers parked at Honey Horn and shuttled to the golf club.
But in Matthew’s aftermath, Honey Horn is a staging area for cleanup efforts, so visitors to Concours d’Elegance will now have the option to park at the Hilton Head Island public schools complex off Wilborn Road, Vanagel said.
The event will feature “Life on the Silver Screen” — a headlining exhibit that showcases red-carpet-worthy Hollywood vehicles. The 1967 Volvo 1800S from the television show “The Saint” and the 2015 Aston Martin DB10 from the recent James Bond movie “Spectre” will be included.
Concours d’Elegance began featuring rare and remarkable aircraft last year. The Aero Expo is set to return in this year.
Holding it this year sends a powerful message that Hilton Head Island is open for business.
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce president Bill Miles
The annual event attracts tens of thousands of visitors and pumps millions of dollars into the local economy.
“Holding it this year sends a powerful message that Hilton Head Island is open for business” after Hurricane Matthew, Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce president Bill Miles said Monday.
Concours d’Elegance is an “important event that drives visitation after our summer tourist season,” he said. “It attracts an upscale and affluent crowd, which is obviously a good thing for the local economy.”
Hilton Head Island town manager Steve Riley agreed.
“Being able to show (the island can put on an event like) this after the storm would be big for us,” Riley said Monday.
Vanagel said the town is “working with (the Port Royal Golf Club) to help get debris cleared as quickly as possible.”
Riley said the town has not committed any additional money to speed the cleanup at this time.