By Jon Maib
Imagine the tremendous feat of organizing more than 300+ Jeeps, working with police, city officials, and event organizers in order to form a mosaic of the state you live in for a local city event. Well, that's what John Kistner of BaaBaaBlackJeep helped do for the Jeep community.

Last year, while the City of Plano, TX held their annual Balloon Festival, the plan to have a group of classic cars onsite ended up falling through because the car guys didn't want to drive their cars on to the grass/dirt field that was used for the festival. Jokingly, someone said that they should just get a bunch of Jeeps out there as they wouldn't mind getting dirty. That's what the organizer, Kent Christensen, of the Festival decided to do. Kent found a Jeep club that was willing to take on the responsibility of displaying their Jeeps. Kent had asked John if he could help gather the Jeep community and form the State of Texas using Jeep brand vehicles.

Working with the Jeep community, it took the good part of the year in order to get everything setup for this event. That included meeting with police, city officials, local schools in order to find enough parking before the event, local churches for parking after the event, figuring out GPS coordinates, getting sponsors, figuring out how many Jeeps to put in rows to create the state, finding someone that could get a birds eye view of the mosaic, and most importantly, getting more than 300 Jeep owners to attend! A Facebook page had also been setup to reach the attention of the Jeep owners in the surrounding communities.

As the date of the festival grew near, the Facebook page began to blow up with excitement with over 325 Jeeps registering to come help out. Several dry runs were put together for anybody that wanted to come check it out. We showed up to one of the walk throughs in order to see the layout and how the event was to be organized.

The day of the event had arrived and Jeep owners began showing up early to get in line to create the mosaic. Everyone arrived at a local high school that had a large enough parking lot to fit all 300+ Jeeps. Many different Jeep make and models had shown up, with the Jeep 4 door JKU being vastly the largest population in attendance. As everyone began to gather, so did the clouds and the threat of rain. But, for a bunch of Jeepers, that wasn't a huge concern (except for those that came with no top). As everyone got lined up to head to the Festival's field, the school parking lot looked more like a Jeep dealership. It was great to see such a large turn out of custom rigs and see how involved the Jeep community was with this event.

After everyone got their goodie bag, event tickets and window ID, there was a quick safety meeting before rolling out in one of the largest Jeep convoy's we have ever been in. It was an impressive convoy of 310 Jeeps all traveling to the field a few blocks away from the school. As the field team began to get the Jeeps setup into their respective rows, it began to rain and didnt let up for several hours. Those who's Jeeps were without tops, were working out ways to best keep dry; others threw their tops back on and some even created tarp tents to try and keep dry.

Unfortunately, due to the rain, there were very few non Jeep participants at the Balloon Festival to really enjoy all the Jeeps and the mosaic of Texas, but it wasn't a waste of anyones time. The mosaic was a success and everyone that participated really appreciated seeing the Jeep community make this all come together. Due to the rain however, the drone that had been secured, couldn't fly until the rain had stopped and by that time, several Jeep owners had decided to leave. We were able to get on a hill close by to get some shots, but you have to look carefully to see the shape. Sky Sight Films was able to get some good shots after the rain had let up (you can see them all here), so unfortunately, you can see several spots of Texas missing.

Photo courtesy of Sky Sight Films

It was a fun event despite the rain. The amount of work that was put into organizing this event was amazing and it was great to see the Jeep community come together to make this happen.

Thank you to the following sponsors for all their donations that were raffled off to those that participated in the Jeeps Around Texas event.

Truxx Outfitters

Huffines (Jeep dealer)


Rugged Ridge


SkySignt Films

KixBaks Offroad

Poison Spyder Customs

C4x4 Magazine

Rock City Burgers

Happy Jeepinit