NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Corvette enthusiasts are gearing up for a busy weekend in the twin cities full of cars and comradery.

The first of thousands of Corvettes roared on to the campus of Illinois State University Thursday morning as the Bloomington Gold Corvette Show officially opens its gates Friday morning.

Fifty years ago the show started in Bloomington-Normal and for the first time since the 1990s, it’s being held back home.

Gates open at 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday, but owners were getting their sports cars prepared Thursday. 75 Corvettes will be judged at Redbird Arena based on how it operates as if they were a brand-new car.

Joe Verrillo came from New York to take part in the show and said he’s been getting his cars judged at the event since 1987.

“I come to the shows for two reasons, not only do I have a love for cars and a passion for Corvettes, but it’s the people involved with them. It’s nice networking, and you get to see people from all over the country that are into the same hobby, same interests, and business as I am, which I find to be very special,” Verrillo said.

Verrillo owns a Corvette dealership in New York that specializes in all Corvettes. He said it’s a special car and it’s great to see so many people love the cars as he does.

“I’ve been in the hobby and business for 43 years. I have a Corvette dealership that we sell, restore, build retro mods and I’ve always had a love for cars since I was 14 years old, and I love Corvettes, I have quite a collection of my own,” Verrillo said.

Verrillo said he owns 15-20 Corvettes and said the 1,200-mile journey will be worth it.

The show is open to the public on Friday and Saturday on the campus of Illinois State and a block party is thrown by the Town of Normal Saturday night.

Tickets and more show information can be found on the official Bloomington Gold website.