This fall, the Desert Stars section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America (MBCA) will host StarFest 2012, the largest Mercedes-Benz enthusiast event in the country.

The event will take place in Phoenix September 28 through October 3, and is expected to draw upwards of 400 attendees, according to Bud Cloninger, president of the Desert Stars section of the MBCA.

“Currently we have members registered from as far away as Seattle, Florida, New York and Ontario, Canada,” Cloninger says. “Most of them will drive their cars to participate in StarFest events.”

Activities at StarFest 2012 will include banquets, ceremonies, technical sessions and seminars as well as a Sponsor Expo, all hosted at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. The StarFest Road Rallye through metro Phoenix will also start and end at the resort, and will highlight points of interest throughout the Valley.

Several of the scheduled events will be open to the public, such as three days of track sessions at Firebird International Raceway, and the Concurs d’Elegance showcase at the Biltmore, which, Cloninger says, will feature nearly 100 Mercedes-Benzes.

“We have cars from the 1930s all the way up to the latest supercars,” Cloninger says.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Desert Stars section, which last hosted StarFest in 1992. Mercedes-Benz is celebrating 125 years this year, the state of Arizona 100, creating what Cloninger calls “the perfect storm!”

This year, the Desert Stars section has partnered with the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center to provide the charity a venue to promote its work in the community.

“The Desert Stars section feels strongly about having a social and charitable commitment in our event,” Cloninger says. “We encourage the public to visit our event, so they can be more informed as to what MBCA is all about.”

For more information, visit

StarFest 2012
September 28th through October 3rd, 2012
Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa
2400 E. Missouri, Phoenix
(602) 955-6600

Track Activities will be held at the Firebird International Raceway
20000 S. Maricopa Rd., Chandler
(602) 323-2000