2007 GNR




“Just keep on a movin’,” must have been the rally cry of Tailgate ‘07 at Forest City, Iowa in July, because from start to finish the Grand National Rally grounds were a beehive of activity.


Golf carts (reminiscent of bumper cars) darted around people as they each hurried from a seminar, tour or craft class to one of the many outstanding entertainment events. People-movers moved slowly up and down between rows of motor homes and little golf cart taxis flitted here and there, making sure everyone reached their destination on time.


Pre-rally week is almost as much fun as the actual rally. Scheduled tours take you to the John Deere factory, the Mall of America, the Amana Colonies, and numerous Winnebago factory tours. “Puckerbrush,” which is a celebration planned by Forest City especially for early arrivals, treats you with a craft fair, barbecue dinner, pie and ice cream and to top it all off, a parade. Pre-rally was also a good time to take your coach to the service center for repairs before the rush started.


The opening ceremonies late Sunday afternoon started with a welcome from the Winnebago president, CEO, and WIT General Manager. The colors were presented by the MILWITs as the WIT singers led us in the U.S. and Canadian national anthems. It was a moving ceremony. And then, . . . there was the parade of flags. A representative of each state, province and specialty group entered when announced, carrying their respective flags. After the parade, Doug Formanek, WIT General Manager, announced formally, “THE WIT GRAND NATIONAL2007 RALLY IS OFFICIALLY OPEN, . . . . . LET THE FUN BEGIN!!!.”


Would you believe, exercise every morning at sunrise? . . . . . No way! Butt his is how many, many people started each day.


Loads and loads of classes were available, including RV driving safety,

women’s driving, doll making, china painting, CPR, quilting, gift boxes, toothbrush rag rugs, microwave/convection, acrylics, nylon flowers, and many more.


Other available activities were beanbag baseball, bowling tournament, arts and crafts competition, WIT rodeo, bingo, square dancing, pet parade, and last, but not least, driving (or riding in) a new 2008 Winnebago Vectra 40KD.


Entertainment abounded daily at the entertainment tent where we had some foot stomping country music, blue grass, barber shop, balladeers, a sing along session and a WIT karaoke showcase. Evening entertainment at the amphitheater featured the “New Odyssey,” “The Brett Family,” and the “50’s at the Hop” (shown below), all popular Branson entertainers.

Contributing photographers:

Jesse & Theda Chambless, Jim & Barbara Bell, and Russ & Ellen Peters