By Edward Jones
I’ve come across many automotive events in my years, but the Dream Ride Experience in Farmington, Connecticut will stand out as the most inspiring and moving event that I’ve attended. The Dream Ride Experience 2019 was the 19th annual event and it was unlike anything I’ve ever attended. While there was an incredible showing of cars, what stood out during the Dream Ride Experience was the amount of heart behind this event.
Dream Ride Experience is the signature fundraising event of The Hometown Foundation, Inc, a 501 (c)(3) charitable foundation that centers around individuals with intellectual disabilities, individuals with a major illness, animal welfare, emergency response personnel and the military. Dream Riders are special guests of the event who take center stage during the entirety of the weekend.
It was all started by Michael Bozzuto, a man with one of the largest hearts I’ve seen. Just about everyone I had talked to at the event had a story regarding Mr. Bozzuto and how he would drop everything for one of his Dream Riders. His generosity has culminated into the Dream Ride Experience, where everyone attends with an open heart, ready to help.
For the Dream Ride Experience, Special Olympic athletes and more were invited out for a weekend that they would never forget as dream riders and the stars of the weekend. From the Dream Cruise to the dancing parties, it was impossible to not find a smiling face.
For the Dream Cruise, Dream Riders are paired up with classic and exotic cars and sat passenger for a 12-mile cruise. Police escorts guided the cruise out of the Farmington Club and onto the 12-mile path ahead. Streets were lined with spectators who were waving to the Dream Riders, cheering them on as they drove off in what I consider to be the largest envoy of exotic, luxury and classic cars I’ve ever witnessed.
Upon arriving back at the Farmington Club, Dream Riders were presented with a red carpet that guided them into a massive tent. This is where the party began. DJ LAZ and Rubix Kube were the musical guests for the night, playing tunes that kept the Dream Riders dancing throughout the night.
There may be no shortage of rallies in the United States, but the Dream Cruise is something completely different. Honestly, you have to see it to believe just how special it really is.
If you thought the East Coast couldn’t put on a massive car show, the Dream Show is here to prove you wrong. When I stepped onto the field Sunday morning, I was blown away with the sheer number of cars attending. Local dealerships like Miller Motorcars, Ferrari of New England and McLaren Boston came out in full-force and attendees came in droves with cars of their own. When all cars were parked, there were hundreds of incredible cars parked on the Farmington Club grounds.
Cars like the De Tomaso P72, Koenigsegg Jesko, Pininfarina Battista, Bugatti Chiron, Koenigsegg Agera, McLaren Senna and many others were on display. I think I counted almost 10 Sennas in attendance to give you an idea of just how wild it was.
Throughout the day, judges walked around the endless amount of cars to pick winners and guests were voting on the duPont REGISTRY People’s Choice Award winner. The winner was actually an incredibly rare 1967 Ford Mustang that was built in Venezuela. After talking to the owner, we learned that his grandfather had purchased it new and it had been imported decades later. Now, the current owner regularly drives the Mustang to car shows, track days and charitable events.
To cap off the day, Dream Riders presented The Hometown Foundation, Inc. with a massive $2.4 million check. That’s what this is all about.
No matter what coast you’re on, the Dream Ride Experience is one event that you don’t want to miss. There’s so much to be seen and so many emotions to be felt at the event that everyone, even those who don’t care about the car, will leave with a smile on their face. Next year will be their 20th annual event and Mr. Bozzuto promises it will be the biggest Dream Ride Experience yet.