• Laurel Contributor

Highlands Motoring festival

Steve Mehder



As you start to grow up, you often strive to emulate people that you find are larger, or more nationally recognized; but, all too often, circumstances might prevent you from achieving that goal.

At that point you look at what you have and what is unique, and capitalize on that.

Such is the case of the Highlands Motoring Festival.

Highlands Motoring Festival is the Little Festival that Could. Much like The Little Engine That Could, the Highlands Motoring Festival is now saying “I knew I could, I knew I could.” Not to cast a shadow on larger motoring festivals and concourses, the likes of Pebble Beach, Hilton Head, or Amelia Island, but the Highlands Motoring Festival is unique.

Sure, the above named events draw thousands of spectators, unique or million-dollar cars to lush golf course settings every year. Well, so does Highlands. While we don’t have acres of golf course area with which to have a large number of cars, we have Highlands.

So what’s unique? First, we are the highest Motoring Festival east of the Rockies. What’s important about that? The weather! When others are sweating in 90-plus degree weather, we’re enjoying the 70’s. While others spend all day walking around the larger shows, our venue is one block off Main Street. This allows you to enjoy the Festival, but also have time to visit the shops, restaurants, hotels, and other attractions Highlands has to offer, without the crowds, or shuttles necessitated at larger events.

We, too, have unique and million-dollar cars, but we also have the cars that people grew up with, and have fond childhood memories of, bringing us back to days gone by. The four-day Festival has opportunities for all. There are road tours to highlight the mountain roads and scenery, comparable to the Black Forest of Germany, and parades down Main Street, like parades of old.

The Highlands Motoring Festival hosts not one, but two, car shows. Saturday’s Cars in the Park, a classic car show, will feature the cars of Carroll Shelby, pre-war orphans (cars of manufactures that no longer exist), and vintage race cars, as well as many other fine pre-1990 cars of various makes.

Sunday is the High Octane on Main car display and social gathering. This show will display cars of various ages, some of which were at the Saturday show. But, there’ll also be more modern cars that will pique the public’s interest.

The weekend of June 6-9, will be an opportunity to discover that you don’t have to be big to be special. Just like the Highlands Motoring Festival and the Town of Highlands.

The Laurel Magazine

Laurel Magazine is a monthly magazine guiding you where to shop, play, dine, and stay in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC.

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