RVers Throng to Show in Chilly Wisconsin

January 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Not even near death could stop Lynn Baroun from attending the 48th Annual WBAY RV and Camping Show on Saturday.

The 48-year-old mom from the Taus, Wis., said her heart stopped beating nearly 20 seconds earlier this month after suffering a heart attack. Now hooked up to a defibrillator device, she scanned the campers on display with her husband, Roger, at the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday (Jan. 22), the Green Bay Press Gazette reported.

“Now that she’s alive, we’re trying to go camping as often as we can,” said Roger Baroun, fitted in a Green Bay Packers cap and a red Wisconsin Badgers Rose Bowl sweatshirt.

The Barouns were joined by hundreds of families in search of new camping equipment and getaway packages. Organizer Vickie Frank said the show serves as a pilgrimage for many in search of great deals in outdoor fun.

Officials expected nearly 13,000 people to attend the four-day show, which ended Sunday. That’s similar to past events, but new this year were seminars on safety and hidden camping sites, Frank said.

Suamico-based Wagner’s RV Center was lead sponsor of the show, which featured nearly 100 vendors.

Visitors could find everything from can-crushers to log picker-uppers and even Egyptian cotton bed sheets.

Brian and Tammie Jeske traveled about 40 miles from Gillett looking to ditch their popup for a sturdy camper.

“It just makes you feel better looking at campers knowing it’s going to be camping season soon,” Tammie Jeske said of the single-digit temperatures.

The Jeskes were one of many looking forward to the smell of brats grilling and the heat from burning logs.

Steve and Sharon Milske of Appleton wanted to downsize from their beatup 29-foot camper to something more lightweight. They said the event allows families to test out equipment before they buy, a benefit over shopping from brochures or online.

“Sometimes lightweight is too lightweight,” said Sharon Milske at Shopko Hall, joined by her two sons, Ben, 10, and Sam, 5.

Connie Sondalle of Pineland Camping Park in Arkdale said visitors went gaga over the site’s 42-foot children’s slide. The family event is growing, she said.

Former Green Bay Packers Fuzzy Thurston signed autographs for charity and predicted the Pack would bury the Chicago Bears in Sunday’s NFC championship game.

“I want the Steelers” for a Super Bowl matchup, he predicted.

(Thurston proved prophetic as the Packers downed the Bears, 21-14, and face the Steelers in the Super Bowl.)

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