Campers set up at WGI, prep for race weekend
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WENY) -- Thousands of people will descend on Watkins Glen International this week for NASCAR, many of them, staying for the long-haul. Some campers tell WENY News, they've made lasting friendships over the years, which go beyond racing.
Wednesday morning marked the first day for campers to arrive at Watkins Glen International, and they were ready!
"We've had some as early as even before 7 a.m. when we opened our gates and it's amazing every single year just people that come -- not just from Upstate New York, or the northeast, but from far and wide," says Mike Gardner, Public Relations Manager at WGI.
Some folks setting up their campers were first time visitors.
"Family and friends. Just got back from the south - home for good so figured I'd come up for my vacation," says Michael Kennedy, who traveled with his family from Massachusetts.
Others, like the Taylor family from Canada have been camping for more than a decade. This is their 12th year making the trip, which they say is always promises a good time.
"It's an amazing experience we've met some wonderful friends, amazing people around us. Plus , the racing's pretty good. We've met a whole bunch of different race-car drivers," says Vickie Taylor.
Those NASCAR friends the Bond's made over the years has developed into a longstanding bond. Vickie explains how her two daughters befriended the kids from their camping neighbors. Now, the kids are involved in competitive bowling, making a fun reunion at the track in recent years.
"We watch each other in tournaments. We come back down to the states to see them. We have three sites now together and it's just a big party!" Vickie explains.
And for the kids who spend the summer growing up at WGI during NASCAR week, memories made continue to grow.
"Honestly just seeing my friends every year that you don't always see. and just the fun; watching all the drunks walk around -- scaring them when we were younger. Now that we're older it's playing the beanbag games, going undefeated walking around just touring all by ourselves," says Vickie's daughter, Emily Taylor-Bond.
The Taylor family is just one of several who explain making similar family-friends at the track. There are some rules campers do need to keep in mind while having a good time.
"Quiet hours, especially are from 11:00 p.m to 6:00 a.m. You can have a generator but you need a medical waiver. Many ask about camp fires as well.. the little bonfires...we have none sort of on-site, but you can build your own. and then just love your neighbors," says Gardner.
Additional information about camping at the Glen, and other details for race weekend, can be found here: http://www.theglen.com/Guest-Information/FAQ.aspx