Florida Winnie-Gators
GNR 2005 Highlights
by Paula Geng

     "CELEBRATE" was the theme for the GRAND NATIONAL RALLY in Forest City, Iowa from July 17-22, 2005.
     Opening ceremonies on Sunday evening signaled the start of the rally.  The WIT SINGERS entertained with delightful songs, followed by the American Flag Raising Ceremony, by the MILWITS and "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Oh Canada," sung by Vaughn Drewes.  The parade of Flags was next with the state presidents or representatives carrying their state flag to the amphitheater.
     Entertainment was provided by a variety of talented people who sang ballads, barbershop, bluegrass, classics and rock and roll.  We were also entertained by some who played guitars, danced and performed magic and comedy.  A Karaoke Contest, "American Idle" WIT talent showcase, added to the fun.  The entertainment Tent was the place to be.
     Monday night's entertainment was provided by comedian Jimmy Travis.  Abba Mania and Stayin' Alive performed on Wednesday.  Crystal Gayle sang on Thursday.
     A&E, Allison Transmission, Blue Ox, Caterpillar and many more provided excellent seminars to learn more about particular items on the motor homes.
     Activities included arts and crafts competition and exhibits, bingo games, CPR and craft classes, craft and merchants row, driving classes for women, farm equipment tours, ice cream social, Ladies Day Out, Red Hat WITS gathering, youth group activities.
     Vendors sold hats, jewelry, shirts, etc. Companies demonstrated their products.  Insurance companies passed out flyers on insurance for rigs.  The Winnebago Industry Customer Service Store opened.
     Forest City celebrated 150 years as a community, with its Sesquicentennial events held during GNR.  Heritage Park had Civil War reenactments, tours of farm equipment, a circus and a tour of the museum.
     Puckerbrush Parade is an annual event as is the port, corn on the cob, watermelon, spaghetti and chicken coupled with the concerts in the park and craft fair.  On Sunday, one church served made rite sandwiches and turkey with the fixings and desert.  Another church served homemade pie and ice cream.
     Florida had a total of 124 coaches at the GNR.  On Monday our President, Bud Geng, hosted a first timer's get together.  The first timers were welcomed by the chapter presidents or representatives.
     The Florida Winnie-Gators row party was fun.  Friends, tasty food and good weather, a great combination.
     The Winnie-Gators won the "Club of Excellence" award and second place in the web contest.  Way to go Winnie-Gators!  If you missed this GNR, you missed a wonderful rally.  Try to make it next year.  You'll be glad you did.