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Highlands Motoring Festival

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2023 will mark the sixteenth year for the Highlands Motoring Festival. The festival has grown from a local Saturday afternoon car show for local enthusiasts into a four-day festival with seven events. It has become one of the premiere automotive “Concours” events in the southeast. The team of unpaid volunteers have raised over $450,000 in recent years, including $105,000 in 2022. These funds go three charity partners: Literacy and Learning Center of Highlands, REACH of Macon County, and the Community Care Clinic of Highlands and Cashiers.

The festival’s most popular events are the curated driving tours, “One Lap of the Mountains”, which depart and return to Highlands and include interesting roads with excellent views and high-quality paved roads. The package includes lunch and route instruction book.

On Thursday evening there will be a reception with world renown race car driver Brian Redman. The event will be held at the Art Highlands Gallery in Highlands.

On Friday evening, the festival committee, with assistance from Highlands Police Department, will stage a Main Street Parade where interesting and collectible classic cars will be exercised. In 2022, almost a hundred cars participated drawing hundreds of spectators to Main Street Highlands.  

The centerpiece event of the festival is Saturday’s “Cars in the Park” concours level car show in the Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park in downtown Highlands, only steps away from Main Street with its unique shopping experience of specialty shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Eighty five special classic cars have been invited through a rigorous application process which ensures a high level of quality of cars being displayed. There will be classics ranging from 1907 to 1989, both American and European. The event is free to the public, but donations are suggested. In 2022, over 2,500 spectators attended. The 2023 featured marque is BMW, where fifteen carefully curated classics will tell the history of the brand. Other 2023 entries will include cars from Duesenberg, Ferrari, Porsche, Ford, Cadillac, Jaguar, Chevrolet, and many others. The cars will be judged by a highly qualified panel of judges, each an authority in a specific field. Trophies will be presented on the show field in the afternoon.  

On Saturday night there will be a “Fundraising Gala” with a diner and program at Wildcat Cliffs Country Club. Brain Redman will discuss his 60+ year career in international motorsports. He will share his experiences on famous racetracks form around the world. There will be both silent and live auctions of automotive items.

The festival concludes on Sunday morning with the “High Octane” car show and social gathering which is free and open to the public. Returning to Kelsey Hutchinson Park, everybody has the opportunity to show their car and visit with fellow enthusiasts.  

HMF offers branded merchandise at all the festival events. In addition to the 2023 poster, polo shirts, hats, pottery mugs, previous year’s posters, calendars, and stickers will be available. Also available are two volumes of printed route guides from previous years of “One Lap of the Mountains” driving tours with many interesting destinations, all originating and ending in Highlands.

To volunteer or for more information visit the festival’s website at: