Although I hadn’t planned—or even participated in—a major Sunshine MINIs event in many years, when I heard that Mickey & MINI was cancelled for 2021, I decided to create a new event during its traditional timeframe in the Fall. Because I live in Daytona Beach, it obviously would be a MINI Beach Weekend.
I took the idea to longtime Sunshine MINIs member, Janet Ford, to determine whether there was interest from the members in the Sunshine MINIs Facebook group. People liked the idea and the interest seemed strong. One comment with several ideas came from Amanda Hancock who lived nearby, so we recruited her to join the planning team.
We wanted to keep the planning fairly simple but offer an event each day over a three-day weekend, similar to how Mickey & MINI was structured. We chose a Friday car show, Saturday photo scavenger hunt, and a Sunday group photo and farewell lunch. The rest of the time, the attendees could visit the beach or local attractions.
So Janet and Amanda created a Facebook event and I created a webpage. We asked our longtime Sunshine MINIs graphics vendor to design a logo and create stickers. We signed contracts with a host hotel and with a museum for the car show. We reserved half a restaurant for the farewell lunch and hired a drone pilot for group photos. We met up several times throughout 2021 for planning (and drinks).
Day 1: Friday, October 1, 2021
In the morning I finished printing and gathered all of the guides, car show number and ballot sheets, and stickers.
There were other groups of MINIs, in several varieties, as well.
After lunch Amanda and I went to the store for some ice, beverages, and snacks.
The “MINIs at the Museum” Car Show was being held at the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art. We arrived around 1:30 pm to set up banners and a Registration table. The museum set up a cash bar for beer and wine. My friends from Tango 01 parked their food truck at the front of the parking lot. People began arriving around 2:00 pm to park and shine up their MINIs for the show. The popular voting began at 3:00 pm.
My MINI Cooper has a rare John Cooper Works Tuning Kit installed, so I showed it off.
Below are more photos from the show including a pair of first-generation MINI Convertibles. Janet’s MINI (on left) won the Best First Generation MINI class—beating my MINI by a few votes.
Amanda and Ashley posed with the giant beach ball. It provided a fun photo-op for the MINI owners.
Nick and his dad in the Tango 01 food truck served up empanadas and other delicious Argentinian meals during the show.
I spent most of the time working at the Registration table signing people in and later counting the ballots. But I did take a moment to pose next to my MINI, Trevor.
Amanda and Ashley also posed with Trevor.
About 6:30 pm we all gathered in the museum courtyard for the awards. I thanked everyone for coming and announced the winners of the car show. We also gave out several raffle prizes, some donated by Tom Bush MINI.
After everyone left and we picked up our things, Amanda and I parked our MINIs at the entrance of the museum for a quick photoshoot. Ashley took the best photo, below.
Day 2: Saturday, October 2, 2021
Saturday morning was sunny and warm when I arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn Daytona Beach Oceanfront. This was the host hotel and the location for the driver rendezvous for the “Driver’s Choice” Photo Scavenger Hunt. I took a few moments to wander the parking lot and photograph the MINIs.
The contestants mingled around the outdoor patio waiting to received their instructions. Amanda was the main organizer of this event so she took the megaphone to give instructions and answer questions. I passed out the guides.
After everyone left to begin the hunt, the planning team took a group photo at the beach.
The Photo Scavenger Hunt was the main event for the day and took place from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. We planners were free for the rest of the day, so Amanda and I had brunch at the Starlight Diner, one of the stops on the hunt. Later, I went home for a while to relax.
Attendees were on their own for dinner, but my group met at Caribbean Jack’s. I got to catch up with a few of my old friends from earlier Sunshine MINIs days over dinner and drinks.
Day 3: Sunday, October 3, 2021
Our perfect weather didn’t last, as Sunday morning was cloudy with misting rain. An informal event on the schedule was coffee and breakfast at Red Pig Brewery. Easy Wind Coffee was serving up liquid caffeine and Tango 01 was there with brunch.
The first official event was a Group Photo at the Daytona Playhouse scheduled for 10:00 am. So we motored across the bridge and joined the long row of MINIs. Amanda had arranged for a drone with camera to fly over to take photos and video. I helped everyone line up their cars, then we all stood back to admire the MINIs and take our own photos and video.
I walked up the row from right to left taking close-up photos of four cars at a time.
Shortly before we needed to leave to go to lunch, it began to rain. I left a little early to meet with the manager of Ormond Garage to make sure everything was ready for our large group. I arranged for the Best of Show MINI, “Captain Jack”, from Friday’s Car Show to park on the back patio. The rest of group soon arrived for our final event, the “Motor-on” Farewell Lunch.
After lunch we headed outside to announce the Photo Scavenger Hunt winners and make some final remarks. The event finally ended around 1:00 pm.
This might be the first and only MINI Beach Weekend. But my concept for the event is for it to be a new annual Sunshine MINIs event, moving to a different beach town each year. It might be in Daytona Beach again next year, but we will encourage another local MINI club to host it in their city. Everyone agreed that they would like to see it continue.