You’ll be seeing lots of Spyders in Springfield April 29-May 3. But don’t worry. They’re not the eight-legged, crawly creatures some people dread.

They will be all over the city during Spyderfest, an annual gathering of Can-Am Spyder owners who will enjoy fellowship, riding, accessorizing and making new friends with a common interest.

That’s definitely true for Denise and David Eckert, whose first date in June 2012 included a conversation about how much they both wanted a Can Am Spyder.

“We ended up moving in together and, lo and behold, we saved enough money to buy that Spyder in October of 2012,” Denise Eckert said.

That December, David Eckert proposed and wedding plans were underway. And you guessed, it. They got married at Spyderfest!

“Needless to say, all is great and we look forward to Spyderfest every year,” Denise Eckert said. “We have met so many people and many new good friends and it all seems due to the Can Am Spyder.”

Lots of people, in fact, are grateful for the vehicles. This year, about 1,000 people are expected for Spyderfest, which will benefit the Road Warrior Foundation, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to providing adventure therapy to wounded veterans as a critical step in the healing process. The foundation will be raffling off a custom Spyder F3 “RoadWarrior Edition” to support the cause.

“Events like Spyderfest are critical to the success of the foundation in spreading public awareness and raising support for future events,” said Craig Anders, a Road Warrior Foundation member. “There is an ever-increasing population of wounded veterans in need of this type of support, organizations like the Road Warrior Foundation and partnerships with groups like Spyderfest are crucial to being able to support the ever-growing groups in the way they need.”

The Road Warrior Foundation was founded by veterans looking to make a difference in the lives of their fellow soldiers injured while serving their country. They provide epic adventure trips -- Adventure Therapy -- for wounded veterans as one of the steps in the rehabilitative process.

The three-wheeled Spyder enables maximum participation by allowing riders that can no longer balance a motorcycle at a stop or shift and brake with their feet to still experience the same extreme adventure as other riders. The vehicle has a single rear drive wheel and two wheels in front for steering.

Spyder manufacturer Bombardier Recreational Products is partnering with the Road Warrior Foundation by providing 10 Spyder RT Roadsters to complete this year’s ride that departs June 5 from Valcourt, Quebec, and stops in seven cities along the east coast with a final destination of Key West, Florida. The riders include veterans from all branches of service that have been injured in many different ways from amputees to brain injuries to other life-altering events.

Along with helping raise money for the Road Warrior Foundation, Spyderfest participants will enjoy a Route 66 Cruise-In  from 7 to 10 p.m. May 1 on North Glenstone Avenue from Interstate 44 to Pitbull Powersports and the public is invited to watch and even join the ride. The public also is invited to Vendor Village from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April 29-May 2 at Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. Both events are free.

Learn more about the Road Warrior Foundation at or send email to

For Spyderfest information, call Pitbull Powersports at 417-863-1418 or visit and

To learn more about group events coming to Springfield, contact the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 417-881-5300 or visit The CVB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the local economy through growth in travel and tourism.