2020 PCA Porsche Parade – What’s the big deal?
by Tom Brown PCA-SDR 2020 Vice President
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By now I’m sure many of you have heard that the Porsche Parade is coming to Southern California (La Quinta) this year. You may have even heard that this is a can’t miss, must attend event. But what is it? Why should you attend? What’s the big deal?
Hopefully I can answer these questions and more in this article. First of all, the Parade is the PCA national convention. This is our club’s big annual get together. It moves around the country to a different city every year; both for the variety of location and to give everybody a more-or-less equal shot of occasionally having a shorter drive to get there. The last time it was in Southern California was in 2007. It may be another 10+ years before it comes back again, so I suggest you take advantage; don’t miss out!
So what is it? If you can imagine all Porsche, all the time, for a solid week, that pretty much sums it up. Think about a resort with 750-1000 Porsches in the parking lots. Think about bumping into 1500-2000 like-minded people in the hallways. Think about driving tours and rallies 4 or 5 days of the week. A fabulous Concours and Historic display of Porsches. An Autocross that attracts the best drivers in the country. Tech Sessions hosted by factory representatives and the PCA Tech Committee. A mini-autocross where you can test out the latest Michelin tires on a factory Porsche. Now are you starting to get the picture?
In addition to all this there is a Porsche themed art show (to showcase your talents), an RC Car race, a 5 K run, a golf tournament, an ice cream social, a Tech & Trivia Quiz (to measure your knowledge of all things Porsche), a Parade of Porsches ( to show off on the city streets), and several awards banquets for socializing. (Parade trophies are coveted mementos!) Even more, there are usually several events to show off the local culture (such as food or beer tastings and bus tours) as well as a Parade store to stock up on logo gear. I would also be remiss if I failed to mention the vendor hall and hospitality suite, where you can see all the latest and greatest accessories for your Porsche. And let’s not forget about Parade Kids! The Parade is a family event, and there will be a week’s worth of activities for the little ones too.
PCA is a volunteer organization, and Parade is no different. An army of volunteers is necessary to run this thing. Please consider volunteering in two or three of the activities during the week. It is a great way to make new friends from around the country and really assists the club in producing this truly amazing event. Also, volunteers get to attend the exclusive volunteer thank you party, where some of the best door prizes are given away! Only volunteers that attend are eligible!
On top of all this, there may be something you’d like to do outside of the Parade as well. The Palm Springs area has a lot to offer the vacationer. Your biggest challenge of the week may be finding enough time to sleep!
Speaking of door prizes, each banquet will have a terrific selection to give away often including sets of tires and culminating with a free trip to Germany for a lucky attendee of the Victory Banquet.
So where is this fabulous event? It will be located at the La Quinta Resort in La Quinta, CA, near Palm Springs. This resort is just as amazing as the Parade itself; with a variety of casitas, villas and suites to choose from. (Some include enclosed garages for your Porsche.) There are 5 golf courses, 41 swimming pools, numerous tennis courts and it is dog friendly and kid friendly too. Between the resort and the greater Palm Springs area, there are plenty of reasons to make this a vacation, even for those in your family that might not fully appreciate all things Porsche.
While it is possible to stay anywhere you want (other hotels, AirBnB, or even at home, etc.) it is highly recommended that you stay at the resort. It is always better to be near the action. The Club will have a special discounted rate at the resort that is only available to Parade participants. Don’t even try to get your room early, because you cannot. Please wait until you have the secret code that you will get after you register for Parade. (There is no need to register for your room before you register for Parade.)
While I am on the subject of the resort, I would like to point out that the Parade is intended to be a weeklong vacation. That being said, it is certainly possible to come for less than that. In fact, some people only come for one or two days. If you live close enough, you can even go at the beginning and then leave to return at the end, or something like that. However, there is no prorating of the attendance fee. You will pay the same base fee regardless of how many days you plan to attend.
Just how does one get in to the Parade? First of all, you must be registered to participate in any Parade events. And, you must be a club member to register. Pre-registration only, no walkups! Some (but not all) events are limited to a club member, co-member and their children. Other guests (nonmembers) are allowed to attend, but only on a member’s registration, and please be aware that they will not be able to participate in all of the events. The restrictions are for the four major competitive events (Concours, Autocross, Rally, Tech Quiz). If a club member (other than your co-member) wants to be a guest on your registration, keep in mind that they will not be able to participate in these four events. Tell them to register themselves under their membership if this is a concern. They will need their own registration to participate in the four competitive events.
Registration is a two phase process. Phase one secures your spot in the Parade and allows you to reserve a hotel room. When you read this it should be open, as January 28 is the scheduled opening date. You can get to the registration site through www.pca.org. Remember you must have an account on the PCA website. If you don’t already, now is a good time to create one. In phase one registration, you will pay the base attendance fee and upon completion you will receive a confirmation email that includes information on reserving hotel accommodations. Once you have completed phase one then proceed to make your hotel reservations. Note: There is plenty of time to cancel. If you are on the fence, it is better to get in and cancel later than to try to get in late.
Phase two of registration opens on March 31 at 9 AM (Pacific). It is during this phase that you sign up and pay for the individual activities you’d like to participate in. Between phase one and two you will receive a registration info packet with information about the different activities that are available and their pricing. While I don’t want to cause a panic or create a stampede, do be aware that some events will sell out. Some events can take everybody and anybody, but some are necessarily limited in space, as I’m sure you can understand. If the event of your choice is sold out, look for another day if it is possible to rearrange your schedule. Some events, such as driving tours, are often repeated on multiple days. If you cannot change days, you will be put on a wait list. A lot can happen between March and June. People will drop out or otherwise shuffle their schedules. There is a good chance you will get in the event if you have patience. Additional events may even be added to the schedule (when possible). If all fails, you will be refunded your money if you do not get in.
Another warning for you. Phase two registration takes a long time. There is a lot of information to collect, especially if you want to participate in a lot of events. Please allow plenty of time (an hour or so) to complete it. Also, be prepared before you start! This is the information you should have ready and at your fingertips before you begin:
• Membership numbers of each club member attending in your party
• The license plate number, year and model of the Porsche(s) you are bringing, along with the brand of tires that will be on the car
• Birthdates of all children attending in your party
• Banquets you want to attend and your meal selections, for each attendee
• Competitive event selection for each participant, and the class for each event
• All other events that each registrant wants to attend (don’t forget Parade Kids!)
• Shirt sizes for all in your party
• Volunteer event selections for all volunteering
It would be a good idea to have the registration info packet and the schedule handy while going through the registration process.
I hope I answered your questions and that you can see what a terrific event the Parade is. If you like Porsche the car, Porsche the brand, Porsche the company, or even the people of PCA, this is a terrific week and a fantastic vacation. Every club member should do it at least once! The region would like to see as many members there as possible; it would be phenomenal if San Diego had the largest attendance of any region. Start planning now and I’ll see you in La Quinta!
January 28, 2020: Phase I registration opens (hotel) March 31, 2020: Phase II registration opens (activities) May 31, 2020: Registration closes June 21-27: The 2020 Porsche Parade
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