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The biggest Jeep Fest yet: Organizers said attendance pumps up local economy

2022 numbers are a big step up from the first Jeep Fest in 2016, a half-day event that had about 40,000 people attend.

TOLEDO, Ohio — While they're still finalizing numbers, Toledo Jeep Fest organizer Whitney Rofkar said this year was undoubtedly their biggest yet, with an estimated 70,000 people in attendance and over 100 more Jeeps than last year.

She said the event's success is also important for the city and local businesses. Totals are still being calculated, but local businesses netted at least $5 million dollars from the weekend, she said.

"Seeing our city thrive and shining a bright light on Toledo is something we are very proud of at Toledo Jeep Fest, and I think businesses and other local collaborators are excited about it as well," Rofkar said.

The numbers are a big step up from the first Jeep Fest in 2016, a half-day event that had about 40,000 people attend. It has since evolved into a two-day mega event, attracting visitors from all over the U.S., as well as around the world, from places like Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands.

RELATED: Netherlands man attends Toledo Jeep Fest

Destination Toledo CEO Lance Woodworth said when people come to visit the Glass City, the benefits could potentially extend far beyond just a single weekend.

"We're creating ambassadors across the country now. And if you can create a place people want to visit, then you create a place people want to live, maybe invest, start a business here, move here, so it just checks a lot of boxes," he said.

Woodworth said events like Jeep Fest, and last year's Solheim Cup, are restructuring the way people interpret Toledo and opening the door for more events and further growth for years to come.

Rofkar said the Jeep Fest also continues to serve as a celebration of Toledo's hard work paying off.

"When you think about it, all the Wranglers and Gladiators you see driving by are made right here in Northwest Ohio, so 90% of the parade are all Jeeps made right here in Toledo," said Rofkar.

Rofkar said she saw many Jeep Fest regulars, some of whom have been attending since the inaugural one.

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