By Janet Cruz
More than 600 Volkswagen Buses and their owners are gathered through the weekend at the Buses by the Bridge event in Lake Havasu City.
The annual event draws people locally and from all over the country who enjoy seeing a variety of Volkswagen buses. Aside from seeing some great buses, the event does it all for many great causes and charities that benefit local youth.
John Howard started Buses By The Bridge in 1991 at Crazyhorse Campground with only 18 buses. Over the years, it grew and later moved to it’s current location at Windsor 4.
At the time, Bart Wagner was the manager and was building a Volkswagen bus for his daughter. Howard then suggested a camping event at Lake Havasu State Park.
“No one had ever held an overnight event there before. Bart contacted the state and somehow got us permission. If I remember right, this was around 1998 and we then grew to 125 buses that attended,” organizer Howard said.
As the years went by, the number of participants grew and so did the funds raised for Lake Havasu schools and Parks and Recreation and other youth programs.
“We had 853 Volkswagen buses in 2019, and donated over $50,000 to kids in Havasu, and we are doing it again,” Howard said. We also donate to the local Boy Scouts, softball and Little League, we give to many others also. Our nonprofit funds raised goes to kids locally in Lake Havasu,” he adds.
The event will raffle out 16 bikes to all age groups this year. There will also be prizes donated by businesses in the Volkswagen industry with a total value of raffle prizes should exceed $25,000.
Saturday morning spectators can take part in a bike ride to Tinnell Memorial Skate Park. There will also be bounce houses and a kids raffle. A brand new Volkswagen engine valued at $7,000 is also scheduled to be raffled as the big prize.
Sunday will kick off with a Boy Scout pancake breakfast before the awards and raffle winner announcement. The last big raffle prize will be another brand new Volkswagen engine valued at over $11,000.
Buses By The Bridge will run through Sunday, at Lake Havasu State Park, Windsor 4 located at 171 London Bridge Road.
Admission is $5 per person all weekend. For the complete event schedule, visit https://www.busesbythebridge.com/event-schedule