FMCA Reunion Kicks Off, Thousands on Hand
Cloudless skies and temperatures in the upper 70’s are providing a fitting backdrop for the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) 86th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase running Aug. 10-13 in Madison, Wisc.
“It’s going absolutely great here in Madison,” Jerry Yeatts, FMCA director of member services, told RVBUSINESS.com. “It’s still early, but it looks like we have a great turnout and people are having a wonderful time.”
As of this morning, Yeatts estimated that around 1,800 rigs were on hand with more on the way. “I’d say we’re looking at in the neighborhood of 4,000 people as far as member families,” Yeatts noted. “But just looking around, we are getting a whole lot of people coming in on day passes and more motorhomes are expected to arrive.”
The gathering is centered at the Alliant Energy Center, providing “the perfect venue,” according to Yeatts, with expansive indoor space for the 330 indoor exhibits and ample area outdoors for the 100-plus motorhome displays.
“We are able to hold the majority of our indoor exhibits, seminars and activities all in one building,” Yeatts reported. “And with the majority of the coach displays right outside, people can easily maneuver from one venue to the other. I’d say this is one of the better showings we’ve had in years as far as the number of motorhomes being shown.”
Yeatts noted there were 140 seminars scheduled throughout the event covering a full gamut of topics including healthy cooking and nutrition, motorhome lifestyle, hobbies and crafts, motorhome maintenance, photography and motorhome safety. “We have several industry experts on hand participating in panel discussions on the technical issues,” Yeatts said.
Evening entertainment kicked off Wednesday night with the Parade of Lights, offering a preview of the hundreds of 2011 and 2012 coaches on display, and for sale. Several acts are also scheduled to perform, including Double Grande, featuring pianists Deborah Johnson and Wayland Pickard, and Street Corner Symphony, an a cappella group that finished runner-up during the 2010 season of NBC’s hit show, “The Sing-Off.”
Yeatts emphasized that FMCA also encouraged members to experience the Madison community, with several organized excursions on tap along with wining and dining at the local establishments. And, as has become a tradition at the association’s conventions, a silent auction called “Purses for a Purpose” was planned with donations benefiting the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“We have 30 bags donated by staff, officers and members that contain anything from free registration to makeup kits to a safety bag with a fire extinguisher and safety kit,” Yeatts said. “Giving something back to the communities we visit has been a tradition ever since FMCA was formed. I like to think it’s what we’re all about.”