Editor’s Note: The following story, part serious, part humorous, was written by John Weeks, a staff writer for the San Bernardino (Calif.) Sun. What he writes about may never come to pass but it is interesting to consider.
It’s the first great idea of the new year, and it’s not even mine. It comes from reader Steve Fast, who lives in Hemet and works in Colton as a sales representative for Giant RV.
Check it out. He suggests that San Bernardino put on a spectacular street festival each year featuring … recreational vehicles!
That’s right, the RV Rendezvous, as we shall call it for now, would take place each year in January when all the “snowbird” people are here from around the country. The event would be a midwinter equivalent to the great Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous, that one featuring cars, that is held each summer.
I love this idea. The RV crowd already is in the area, forming their annual encampments throughout the Southland desert. Why not invite them to swing through San Bernardino on a given weekend, or even multiple weekends? They’d have a great time showing off their rides, and the rest of us would have a great time partying down with them.
Just as the Route 66 Rendezvous features a long cruise line of hot cars through downtown San Bernardino, the RV Rendezvous would feature a long cruise line of dinosaur-size motorhomes. Of course, we may want to make the parade route a bit shorter, since these babies get about one city block per gallon of gas, but that’s OK.
There also will be “show and shine” events, maybe at the National Orange Show Events Center or else in large parking lots throughout downtown, where the RVs will just park for a while and allow spectators a closer look. Some owners even may allow visitors to step inside for a walking tour. Wow. You never see that at the summer Rendezvous.
The streets would be blaring with music, of course, throughout the RV Rendezvous. Some of the Baby Boomer music we hear at the summer event might work here, too. On the other hand, this will be a slightly older crowd, so we may want to work in some Big Band standards, a little Bing Crosby, Rudy Vallee, Tennessee Ernie Ford …
Hey, Ernie lived in San Bernardino! He got his start at local radio station KFXM. Perfect!
Speaking of noteworthies, we should establish an RV Hall of Fame that would serve as an added attraction during the RV Rendezvous. My nominees for inaugural inductees include the late daredevil stunt performer Evel Knievel, who used to jump motorhomes on his motorcycle; Anne Murray, who recorded her hit song “Snowbird” in 1970; and Good Sam, the smiling mascot of the Good Sam Club, the international RVers organization.
Maybe we even can have an RV Film Festival during the RV Rendezvous. We’ll open up the California Theatre and screen such classic RV-centric movies as “Motor Home Massacre” (2005), “Winnebago Man” (2010), “RV” (2006), “Lost in America” (1985) and “About Schmidt” (2002).
This is going to be great! Of course there will be plenty of vendor booths at the RV Rendezvous, offering items that appeal to the RV crowd. You know, lawn chairs, polyester clothing, floppy hats … stuff like that.
And there will be food booths galore, serving up all the street festival favorites, such as steak sandwiches, hot dogs on a stick, funnel cakes … the classics.
Hmmm, we also need something for those finicky seniors, don’t we? How about deep-fried steamed prunes?