Rogersville Jeepfest is all about showing off your Jeep, admiring other people’s Jeeps, and checking out the wide variety of customizing that is taking place across the Jeep universe.
But, for Rogersville Jeepfest founder Chris Singleton, it’s also about giving something back to the people who give their all for our community.
The third annual Rogersville Jeepfest is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1 from 4-9 p.m. in downtown Rogersville. All profits from the event will be donated to local police, fire, and rescue agencies.
Singleton launched his first Jeepfest in 2020 at the Sayrah Barn, with all proceeds being distributed to local law enforcement agencies.
The response was so great they decided to move the 2021 Jeepfest to downtown Rogersville, which attracted around 200 Jeeps and raised $5,000 that was distributed between the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, Rogersville and Surgoinsville police and fire departments, and Hawkins County EMS.
“At the end of the show I go through and see how much I’ve spent an dhow much I can give away, and it turned out good,” Singleton said. “We gave monetary donations to the Surgoinsville and Rogersville police and fire, and Hawkins County EMS. We couldn’t give a money donation to the sheriff’s office, so we bought them one Falcon bulletproof shield, and they bought one so they could keep one on each end of the county. Between the cash donations and what we paid for the shield it added up slightly over $5,000.”
“I’ve got a goal of $6,000 this year, but I will say this. A lot of my revenue comes from T-shirt ad sponsors, and they are down this time. More Jeeps might make up for that. We had about 200 last year, and probably 250 in the spring. I’m looking for about 250 again this time.”
Two Jeepfests in 2022
City official were so pleased with the 2021 downtown Jeepfest they asked Singleton to organize two events in 2022.
Rogersville Jeepfest this past June attracted 250 Jeeps back to downtown and raised more than $3,500 which was divided among various local military and veterans organizations including to the Rogersville VFW, countywide VFW funeral honor guard, the American Legion, the America Legion funeral riders, and Project Serve our Soldiers.
Singleton said about 150 Jeeps have already been pre-registered for the Oct. 1 event, and he’s expecting at least another 100 to show up.
Registration is $20, but if you pre-register you get a T-shirt and a goody bag included. If you’re not entering a Jeep the event is free, and non-Jeep owners are encouraged to attend as well, bring a lawn chair, and enjoy the festivities.
Aside from the Jeeps the event will also feature live music, food and merchandise venders, and bouncy houses for the kids. Downtown businesses will be open late, as will restaurants which will feature special Jeepfest menus.
There will also be Jeep judging in five categories, although entry for those contests has already reached capacity. For an extra $20 fee you could enter your Jeep for the contest and be guaranteed a Main Street parking spot for the show, but that was limited to 80 entreis and is sold out.
What is the attraction of Jeeps?
“It’s kind of like a little getaway,” Singleton said. “It’s the draw of a convertible, but the Jeep, unlike any other convertible, you can also take your doors off. It’s the freedom of removing your top and doors. The freedom of going off road. It’s just a fun vehicle to get out and enjoy your day in.”
Quoting his favorite Jeep meme Singleton said, “If money can’t buy happiness, I have a Jeep. How do you explain that.”