It all began in 2016. A group of Jeep enthusiasts in the Toledo area came together with a simple idea: A celebration of the vehicle that had been a staple of the American experience since it was first built here three quarters of a century prior.
“A group of us got together, UAW in particular, people in the city and county, and said hey, this is really a big part of our Toledo history,” said Jerry Huber, retired plant manager of Toledo Jeep and the chairman of Toledo Jeep Fest. “We need to celebrate the 75th anniversary. So we decided we would start with a parade and a car show and so forth.”
The first Jeep Fest was small, a half-day event, held on August 13, 2016. Festivities started at noon and ended by 6. But the response— from both Jeep fanatics and the Toledo community as a whole— was remarkable.