Thursday: In the morning, a Funkhana is organized wherein participants drive their cars through a series of light-hearted challenges and games. Always a great spectator event as well as fun for the drivers and navigators! While the Funkhana takes place, there is always a Swap Meet or Flea Market, where event participants can buy and sell used MG parts. During the afternoon, the Advisory Council and Steering Committee meetings take place, the former being when representatives from participating clubs can offer comments on the current event and make suggestions for future events. Folks who do not attend these meetings can use this afternoon to visit more of the local attractions. Thursday evening sees the Awards Banquet take place - a grand gathering and fine meal during which awards for the car show, driving events, arts, crafts & photo contests are presented. There are also awards for the distance driven to the meet and for club participation, all of which add to the excitement of the Thursday evening Banquet.
Friday: The end of the event is celebrated with a Farewell Breakfast and display of the class-winning cars, after which people either leave to head home or stay another day or two to enjoy more of the local area's attractions and scenery.
A GoF West provides a wonderful annual opportunity for MG owners to drive with fellow MG owners to a location typically chosen for its scenery, local attractions or historic interest. Here they will spend a few days meeting new people who share their love of MGs, renewing old friendships, seeing new cars and generally having a great time "In the Bond of The Marque". If you have an MG and would like to join in the fun, please make a GoF West something you do soon! Newcomers are always welcomed and you won't feel like a newcomer for long!
Wednesday: In the morning, there is a competitive Rally (observation, clue solving or photo rally -never a TSD as organizers understand about MG odometers and speedometers!). Participants who wish only to drive around the route and enjoy the scenery are at liberty to do so. In the afternoon, there are usually Tech Sessions or events designed to interest the ladies, followed in the evening by the Auction Dinner. This gives participants an opportunity to bid - either during a live Auction or a Silent Auction - on MG items and hand crafts which have been donated to GoF West. The proceeds of the Auctions help subsidize future GoF West events. Activities during the week may also include other events, such as a Mechanic's Contest, Ashwood Derby, Valve Cover Race, or other novelty challenges at each event organizer's discretion.
So what exactly goes on at a GoF West? First, know that for the last thirty years or so these events have taken place over the course of a week. Prior to that, they were "long weekend" events, but for people driving long distances this usually meant two weeks off work as they had to leave on a Tuesday or Wednesday and they would not get home till the middle of the next week. Starting the activities on a Monday meant people could drive over one weekend, enjoy GoF West during the week, then drive home the following weekend. So, here's a typical schedule....
Monday: Registration during the day, followed by an early evening Orientation gathering where participants are introduced to the people who are running the show and told the "what, when and where" for the week. In the afternoon or evening, there is often a "First-Timers" car display just for those who are attending a GoF West for the first time. Facilities are provided all day for those who have driven to the event to wash and detail their cars. Submissions for the Arts, Crafts & Photo contests are turned in at Registration, entries for these categories being displayed and voted on throughout the event. Details of planned organized or self-guided tours are also made available at the activities table near the registration table.
Tuesday: Registration continues, then in the morning there is the main Car Show. No judging takes place, but every participant receives ballots to complete so the awards are given to the cars considered by the majority to be the nicest. The cars are divided by class into Pre-War, TC, TD, TF, Post-War Variant (for the "specials" and cars such as Y-types and Arnolt-bodied TDs) MGA, Midget, MGB, Magnette and even post-1980 MGs which have been imported into the country. Cars which have won their class in the past three years are placed into a Premier class. In the afternoon, there are usually organized tours to local attractions or scenic drives to points of local interest.
Typical GoF West Schedule