FMCA’s 100th International Convention and RV Expo, a milestone event for the world’s largest not-for-profit RV owners organization, met with great success, according to association leaders.
The North Dakota State Fairgrounds staff and the residents of the city of Minot extended a warm welcome to the RVing families and commercial vendors who participated. Attendees hailed from 47 states and six Canadian provinces. Nearly 1,800 RVs were on hand during the event.
Highlights of the celebration — nicknamed “Minot Magic: 100 Times The Fun” — included an evening with featured speaker Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, who gained worldwide recognition after he and his crew guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing on New York’s frigid Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009, saving the lives of all 155 people onboard. A large crowd gathered on Thursday (Aug. 15) evening to hear Captain Sullenberger tell of the events and lessons in his life that prepared him for the quick decisions that had to be made that day.
The Spinners, who brought their hits from the 1970s, performed on Aug. 16. While local group Soulshine performed on Saturday, the last evening, and a dance party resulted, with attendees packing the area in front of the stage.
The nostalgia area set up to commemorate FMCA’s 100th convention bustled with attendees perusing convention photos, programs, T-shirts, and other memorabilia from past FMCA conventions, along with video footage from prior events. A special program commemorating the 100 conventions and sharing the rich history of these gatherings was available during the event.
A Magic Mile charity fun run/walk took place on Friday, with proceeds from the event donated to the North Dakota State Fair Foundation, which funds annual scholarships for deserving youth.
In addition to commemorative activities, attendees participated in the usual elements of an FMCA convention. RV manufacturers and dealers brought the latest creations and opened them for touring. Companies that provide RV-related products and services set up displays as well.
More than 100 seminar sessions, with topics ranging from chassis maintenance to Alaska travel, took place. Various social activities were part of the fun, including morning coffee hour, an ice cream social, a ladies luncheon, card bingo, and bean bag toss tournaments.
“It’s remarkable to think that FMCA started in 1963 with a gathering of 18 families who owned ‘house cars’ and since then has hosted 100 conventions where RV owners have gathered to celebrate all things RVing,” FMCA President Jon Walker said. “Yes, the vehicles we travel in make this lifestyle possible, but it’s really all about the people. My wife, Sondra, and I have met so many wonderful people while traveling across North America in our RV. FMCA conventions bring RVers together, and we sure do have a great time.”
FMCA volunteer leaders and staff now turn their attention to convention 101, set to take place March 26 through 29, 2020, at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Ariz. The 101st International Convention and RV Expo has been dubbed “Sunsets and Saguaros” in honor of the host area.
All RV owners are invited to attend, and registration for the event will begin on Sept. 26 at FMCA.com or by calling (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622.