Toledo Jeep Fest will drive thousands to the city, and it takes a lot of horsepower to make it happen

Hundreds of volunteers are signed up, but more help is needed.
Volunteers are still needed for the event
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - We are a week away from an event that brings tens of thousands of people to downtown Toledo. Toledo Jeep Fest hits high gear next Friday, and it takes hundreds of volunteers to help make it happen.

Summit Street will have a much different look at this time next week. It will be the centerpiece of Jeep Fest.

Jo An Matney worked at Jeep for 30 years. She’s now the volunteer coordinator for the event. “Jeep is a passion, you get caught up in it.”

There will be more than 300 volunteers on the ground for Jeep Fest, and Matney says it’s been relatively easy to get help.

“It’s not hard to rope anybody in. All our volunteers are community based and they understand what Jeep means to this city. At first, they’ll sign up for only three hours. Then they come back and say what else can I do?

We caught up with a group of Jeep retirees Friday who have helped make it all possible. Terri Thompson worked at the plant for more than three decades. She’s enjoyed donating her time to an event that celebrates all things Jeep.

“It is a lot of work putting all this together, but it’s a lot of fun too. After working at the plant, Jeep really becomes part of your family. They have been very good to me and I want to give back a little bit.”

Diana Spalding is a third generation Jeeper. She worked at the plant for thirty years, and she’s the UAW Local 12 historian.

“There is more to Jeep than just the vehicle. It really is a family, and it involves a lot of the city because of all the companies that build parts for the Jeep. Jeep affects everybody in some way. We are going to have an exhibit inside the SeaGate Centre of Jeep’s rich history. It’s been fun putting it together.”

Thompson says all the volunteers love seeing the vehicle they love on full display.

“It is amazing how far people come for this and how different each Jeep is. It is also fun to see how much people enjoy coming Jeep Fest. It’s a warm feeling when you know you were part of that.”

And it’s not too late to pitch in, there’s still a need for volunteers. There are a lot of different ways you can help out. To learn more, click here.

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