The population of Forest City will nearly double during the GNR rally with an expected 1400 motorhomes on the rally grounds. This will add somewhere around 2800 people to the normal 4000 population. Needless to say the rally has a large impact on the town. Of course, it is also true that Winnebago itself is a big part of the community which currently employees approximately 2000 people.
The city has a number of events scheduled around the rally including the Puckerbrush Days Celebration. We headed downtown with some friends to pick a good spot for the parade and check out the sales booths. They were already loading the 72 foot BBQ with chickens for the after parade crowd.
The parade was another example of small town America with just a bit of a twist. Because of the large presence of Winnebago here, not surprisingly, motorhomes placed a big part in the parade. Another unusual parade item was the throwing of sponges to the crowd. The frenzy over the sponges was much like that of the beads in New Orleans. We were advised in advance to have a bag to carry these prizes. We now have enough sponges to last at least a year for the whole family.
It was fun, but a bit long considering the high heat and humidity.