Jim Abbott – The Daytona Beach News-Journal / Published April 4, 2022
DAYTONA BEACH — Speedweeks, the Daytona 500 and Bike Week are in the rearview mirror, but there’s yet another vehicular-themed celebration ready to unfold at the World’s Most Famous Beach.
Now in its 19th year, the annual Jeep Beach will draw tens of thousands of devoted fans of the iconic automotive brand for its weeklong run from April 25-May 1 in Daytona Beach.
And while not every invasion of vehicle-lovers has been warmly received in Volusia County (Daytona Truck Meet, anyone?), Jeep Beach has become a beloved event due to its commitment to supporting worthy area charities.
Since 2012, Jeep Beach has donated over $2 million to such organizations through the event’s weeklong fund-raising efforts. Recipients include the Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia & Flagler Counties; the NASCAR Foundation; the Childhood Cancer Foundation, as week as more than 30 additional nonprofit groups.
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The event’s spirit of community awareness is illustrated by its annual closing-day Jeep Beach Parade. This year’s parade is slated for May 1, with Jeeps scheduled to hit the beach at 8 a.m. via access ramps from International Speedway Boulevard to Dunlawton Avenue.
As part of the ritual, drivers also participate in the Jeep Beach Sweep to pick up and dispose of trash to leave the beach better than they found it.
If you’re a Jeep owner or lover, or even if you’re not, here are other events worth catching:
JB22 5K Fun Run
This annual event unfolds on April 24, a day ahead of Jeep Beach’s official opening. Registration for runners and walkers opens at 8 a.m. with the race start at 9 a.m. on the sand behind the Landshark Bar and Grill, 471 S Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.
It’s a Wave Start event, with participants grouped according to estimated pace per mile. Afterward, registered participants can enjoy a complimentary beer and slider at the Landshark.
Entry fees are $30 before April 15; $35 from April 16-22; and $40 day of race. To register, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/DaytonaBeach/JeepBeachWeek5kRunWalk.
Jeep Beach Food Truck Festival
Tasty treats from 20 food trucks will be the big draw at this event from noon-6 p.m. April 24 in the north parking lot of the Tanger Outlets mall, 1100 Cornerstone Blvd, Daytona Beach.
There will be a VIP parking area available for all Jeeps at the event.
In addition to the food, the event will feature an array of vendors, bounce houses, a craft zone and face-painting for the kids.
Jeep Beach Gives Back Charity Softball Game
This family-friendly event from features a celebrity softball game, kids’ activities, raffle items and appearances by both the Jeep Beach and Daytona Tortugas mascots. It runs from 6-9 p.m. April 25 at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, 105 E. Orange Ave, Daytona Beach.
The event also is a celebration of the charities supported by Jeep Beach, with representatives of many of the organizations on hand at the ballpark.
Jeep Beach in Boots
Jeep Beach visitors are encouraged to wear their favorite boots and jeans (or shorts and flip flops) for a family-friendly Jeep-themed meet-up from 6-9 p.m. April 26 in Victory Circle at the One Daytona retail, dining and entertainment complex across the street from Daytona International Speedway.
The country band Hayfire will provide music. There also will be a salute to first responders and community heroes that includes an honor guard presentation, bagpipes and the National Anthem.
Jeeps at the Rock
This all-day beach party, a two-day event on the sand behind the Hard Rock Hotel, kicks off at 9 a.m. April 27 and 28 on the beach behind the hotel at 918 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.
Activities include a surf school, beach games, Tug-A-War vendors, hourly prize raffles, lunch and drink specials and a pool party featuring DJ Flip.
Jeep Beach Main Event
Sponsored by Daytona Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram & FIAT, this event features more than 200 vendors spread across seven acres of the infield on April 30 at Daytona International Speedway.
Gates open at 9 a.m., with entrance through Gate 70 for Jeeps with JB22 registration stickers. For other spectators, there’s a $15 admission to enter through the front of Daytona International Speedway.
Visit JeepBeach.com for more information on these events and others.