Hundreds of RVs are parked in Forest City for the 51st annual Winnebago Grand National Rally, which wraps up tomorrow night.
Robert Wright drove more than 1200 miles from his home in Virginia and arrived early to get some work done on his RV at the Winnebago dealership in Forest City. It’s been a laid back week for Wright.
“Parade, fireworks, just going nothing, sitting on the grounds, going out to eat — whatever — with the group,” Wright says.
Many who’ve attended the rally over the years have formed friendships with other Winnebago owners and camp out in groups on the grounds, which are nearly across the street from the Winnebago factory. Bea Dettman is from Sandwich, Illinois. She and her husband came to the rally to socialize and connect with fellow travelers.
“In our travels in the past, we’ve met people from all across the country and we continue to try to get together with them once a year, so we were really hoping to meeting maybe some more people who were local, but there were only two or three of us from Illinois is our little group, but that’s okay,” she says. “We walked around and made friends with everybody else. That was our goal.”
Nancy Robinson is a retired nurse from Port St. Lucie, Florida. She and her husband took the long route to the gathering.
“We sold our house in Florida. We closed on our house on May 31 and we’ve been on the road every sense,” she says. “We left Florida, went up to New York for a wedding, then came across Ohio and Indiana and then down to Joliet, Illinois, and then up to Forest City.”
There’s a happy hour at the rally site starting at 3 p.m., and tonight there’s a trivia competition for campers.
(By A.J. Taylor, KIOW, Forest City)