It has been more than 21 years since we established Amelia Massage Associates, Inc. Time has flown by and the journey has brought many changes, but our mission to serve the community and visitors by providing superior therapeutic massage and spa services remains the same. A short while ago we had the honor to participate in a new community event. The Amelia Massage staff volunteered for “Bug Duty” at the Third Annual “Buggies on the Beach Event”.
Surrounded by beautiful beaches, a Greenway, a quaint downtown Historic District, unique family-owned eateries and businesses, and canopy laden trails, all majestically tucked away on a 13 mile long barrier island located off the Northeastern coastal tip of Florida, Amelia Island is a place of friendly laid back living; a place replete with nature’s gifts; a place rich in volunteerism; a place that welcomes year-round events and festivals.
Recently Amelia Island proved to be the perfect venue to showcase a bug event, but not creepy crawling bugs. VW BUGS! The third annual event, ‘Buggies On The Beach III,’ was held Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28, 2017 at Main Beach in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Michael and I volunteer at the three day non-profit event every year and we were amazed at the turn out this year, the highest attendance yet. Leading up to the Sunday main event, it was fun to watch the influx of ‘Dubs’ coming onto the island, each one as unique as its owner’s perseverance, imagination, creativity and available budget. A congregation of local area VW buggy enthusiasts set the event in motion when they gathered at local Townies Pizzeria on Friday. Then on Saturday morning there was a ‘Poker Run’ to neighboring Talbot Island, in parade fashion, followed by a cruise through Fort Clinch on Saturday afternoon. The main event began Sunday at 9 a.m. and concluded at 3 p.m. with a Buggy Awards Ceremony and a Raffle to benefit the Nassau County Humane Society. As anticipated, it was a family-friendly, fun, ‘get your motors running’ weekend in Fernandina Beach and our Bug Duty was to assist in making everything go smoothly.
Bug Duty on Main Beach, Amelia Island
Locals, visitors, and DUB owners from all over the country were gathered together in one big open grassy field that echoed sounds of bragging rights from big kids and playtime laughter from little kids. The big kids showed off their rides, looked for the next cool buggy part or gadget, and shared knowledge and stories with each other and spectators. Popular customized Dub memorabilia (T-Shirts, Stickers, Koozies, Key Chains, Caps, Deck of Cards) made great take home memories. (The only reason I volunteered was to get a custom 2017 Buggies On The Beach III shirt. ?)
While the little kids were busy with match car racing, corn bag tossing, face painting and making giant bubbles, the big kids were attentive to over 100 custom vintage (1938-1979) VW Dune Buggies including several original and prized Myers Manx buggies. Enhanced by the sights, sounds, and breezes of the Atlantic Ocean, we could feel the camaraderie between the local buggy club, Dune Buggy Brothers Classic VW Car Club Of Amelia Island, with their counterpart buggy enthusiasts from all over the country. One buggy was driven to Amelia Island from California!
The event served as a story-telling stage with a total participation of 130 VW’s as well as special military vehicles, representative of four war-time periods in history. There were vehicles for every imaginable fetish. I found myself picking favorites, only to change my mind every ten minutes as I walked amid the field of vintage Beetles, Dune Buggies, “hippie” Vans, and converted trucks.
Volunteering was a lot of fun! We had a front and center view and while watching it all, we witnessed the joy of bringing people together to appreciate yesteryear through a common passion and also to remember American soldiers who gave all.
2017 Buggies On The Beach III was the culmination of a lot of hard work and long-range planning by our son Michael Shores with the assistance of the Fernandina Beach Recreation Department, Tom Bush VW, and Hilltop Motors. Once again a happy Amelia Massage staff volunteered for Bug Duty.