Hundreds of recreational vehicles are rounded up in northern Iowa this week for the annual Winnebago-Itasca Travelers Club Grand National Rally. The event is underway near the Winnebago Industries main factory in Forest City. Club general manager Doug Formanek says the six-day rally brings in people from nearly every state and every Canadian province.

He says the people enjoy Forest City because it’s like a homecoming to them, returning to the place where their “baby” RV was built. He says many people develop relationships on the different tours the club puts on and “it’s like one big family getting back together.” This year’s rally theme is “Hillbilly Jamboree” and Formanek says people who attend the rally experience many different types of events.

He says they have a “Moonshine Run” with couples driving golf carts going through an obstacle course with the lady sitting behind the blindfolded man, telling him how to steer through cones. There are also seminars about cooking and driving as well as about the products that are included in the motor homes.

Formanek says this week’s hot and humid weather isn’t appearing to have much of an impact on the rally. He says people are usually active in the mornings and the evenings and are almost like “shut-ins” during the afternoons, so it’s not that much of an issue during the hottest portion of the day. He thought the heat might mean some people wouldn’t show up for parts of the rally, but he’s still very pleased with attendance.

Formanek says it’s a great turnout despite there being about 100 fewer Winnebagos in town for this year’s rally. Learn more at the website:

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City