Thursday, May 29, 2008
We spent seven days at an FMCA rally in Berrien Springs, Michigan. This town is located in southwest Michigan ten or so miles from the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and perhaps is best known for its Seventh Day Adventist College. What we discovered this meant for the casual visitor is that most stores are closed on Saturday and there are many stores and restaurants that specialize in Vegan products.
FMCA is a social group of motorhome owners that gather and have fun at various rallies and conventions around the country. This was our first event with this group and also the largest rally we have attended to date. There were approximately 450 coaches in attendance and we were parked all over the Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds, which proved to be a great venue for this kind of gathering. This did not come as a surprise, as we found out that they have been coming here for over thirty years for this annual event.
It was fascinating to just walk around and see all the various types and ages of motorhomes that attend and talk with the many campers who come to enjoy themselves. You could discover what they had done to them and what they were having done to them by numerous vendor and repair groups on scene.
These events are designed for fun, fellowship and learning. There are numerous seminars on topics of interest to this hobby and in some cases lifestyle. There were also two halls full of vendors selling their wares that were in some way related to motorhome ownership. There were also a number of motorhome dealers who brought dozens of coaches to the fairgrounds for us to look over, in case the urge for a new coach would hit. This alone was much larger than some dedicated RV shows we have attended.
And then there was the food and entertainment. With around 1000 people attending the lines for the food hall could get quite long, but they kept things moving and it went amazingly fast. Not being that fond of food served in this manner, we only attended one of these events. There was entertainment on the grounds every day of the rally, an evening show each night and there was even a classic car rally on Saturday, where the owners sought our votes for the best of show.
On Monday, Memorial Day was celebrated by a display of flags, a parade RV style and ceremony at the flag pole.
It was a fun event and we will undoubtedly attend more in the future.