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Winnebago Rally Draws 1,000 Rigs to Forest City

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July 19, 2017 by   Leave a Comment

Aerial view of Winnebago Grand National Rally

The 2017 Annual Winnebago Grand National Rally is in full swing at the manufacturer’s 200-plus acre facility in Forest City, Iowa, attracting 1,000 RVs and over 2,000 members of the Winnebago International Travelers Club (WIT). The event opened Monday (July 17) and closes out Saturday.

This year marked the 48th edition of the Grand National Rally for Winnebago — the first occurred in 1969. With around 15,000 WIT members in the U.S. and in Canada, Winnebago has one of the largest owner’s associations in the RV industry.  

“The theme for this year is ‘Welcome to Fabulous Winnebago’,” said Sam Jefson, public relations specialists for the company. “We’ll be having a lot of fun this week through various seminars and activities we have planned for our attendees. Last night we began with our Winnebago Kickoff Party where we invited all our people to take a look at our  newest products. This was followed by some great entertainment by country music singer Stephanie Quayle who actually has a song called ‘Winnebago.’ That was a big hit with the group.” (Click here to view video).  

The rally is held on the company’s Grand National Rally grounds just across the street  from its manufacturing facility. According to Jefson, the area offers electrical service for 1,500 campsites and an amphitheater that will seat 3,000. “The theater is a great place to gather for events and training,” he said. “We also set up a number tents to house the various events and seminars.” 

“Every year, the weekend before our rally starts we have Puckerbrush Days here in Forest City,” added Jefson. “It’s a community celebration with parades and fireworks in the evening and live entertainment on our main street. Our owners really enjoy this week and more than half of them are on-site the week before the rally to enjoy the small town atmosphere and the festival.”

A full range of entertainment is scheduled for almost every night in the amphitheater on the Winnebago property beginning with a Grand National Rally parade last night and culminating with Country Western artists “Dan and Faith.”

“One of the highlights of our rally week is our ‘Row Party’ where each row provides food and drink and people can experience the color from each area of the country,” said Jefson. Rows can be categorized by region, state, type of coach, military affiliation, or anything to build a party around.

Winnebago provides a host of organized content for the event, including: vendor exhibits in a large air-conditioned facility, pre-rally tours, craft and hobby classes; youth programs, craft merchant items for purchase, Winnebago Outdoor Adventures tent, Winnebago Outdoor Store in the visitors center, women on wheels program, factory tours, and dining facilities on the grounds.

— Ron Barger

   

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