Affinity’s ‘The Rally’ Set for April 17-20
Thousands of RV enthusiasts plan on getting their kicks on Route 66 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the nation’s largest RV rally – officially called “The Rally” – convening April 17-20 in Albuquerque, N.M.
Visitors to Albuquerque’s Expo New Mexico can find plenty of ways to enjoy the legendary Route 66, while experiencing the latest in recreational vehicles and accessories, live entertainment, family friendly activities, educational seminars and an annual attempt to break a world record, according to a news release.
The Rally is the event and vacation destination of the year for many of the estimated 8 million U.S. RV owners. Thousands of RV enthusiasts, newbies and veterans alike will gather on the event grounds and explore the RV lifestyle with industry experts from around the world.
New to The Rally are two eco-focused initiatives, providing RVers the opportunity to celebrate and explore “green” RVing. Attendees will be able to tune into “Reality RV” to watch and learn as conservation expert Brian Brawdy is challenged to show how many resources can be conserved in an RV. Additionally, the inaugural “Going Green” ideas contest invites rally participants to submit green ideas to make RVs more environmentally friendly.
The concept of charity is paramount in the minds of rally organizers and attendees alike. In an effort to give back to the host community, attendees will adopt the Rio Grande Community Farm in Albuquerque with a day of volunteer work planned for April 15. On April 18 and 19, The Rally will also host dog and cat adoptions courtesy of Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez. The rally’s official charity is the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, and many activities are planned to raise funds for them, including a morning walk and participation in arts and crafts activities.
Local Boy Scouts, both past and present, will be honored with free admission to the rally on April 19 and are encouraged to bring memorabilia and wear their uniforms for an afternoon of camaraderie.
“As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we continue to add programs and events of value to The Rally, and this year is no exception,” said Sue Bray, vice president and executive director of the Good Sam Club. “The ‘Going Green’ ideas contest will bring conservation issues to the forefront of RVers minds.
We also plan to honor our inaugural Good Sam Club RVer of the Year, Richard Daniels, who has used our vast network of RVers nationwide to rescue homeless dogs and cats in need. It just goes to show you what RVers can accomplish working together in an organization of this size.”
Rally-goers can learn more about the lifestyle by getting a close-up look at the latest RV models while strolling through hundreds of new rigs on display. Vehicles ranging from entry-level trailers to million dollar coaches will be available outside for test drives or on-the-spot purchases. Additionally, the rally’s indoor exhibit showcases hundreds of travel products and the latest high-tech RV accessories, gadgets and gizmos to help RVers enjoy the great outdoors in style.
The entertainment lineup for The Rally boasts a number of big-name entertainers. Legendary pop singer Neil Sedaka will kick off the entertainment schedule on April 17. Joining Sedaka is two-time Grammy Award winner Rita Coolidge on April 18; The Osmonds, who have broken records for sell-out performances once held by the Beatles and Elvis, on April 19; and Papa Doo Run Run, with their rendition of songs from the heyday of surf music in the ’60s and ’70s, on April 20.
During Sunday night’s entertainment, attendees will attempt to break the world record for “the most people wearing balloon hats,” to honor Albuquerque’s distinction as “the Hot Air Balloon Capital of the World.” Also returning is the popular Rally Dog Show, “Show Your Tricks on Route 66,” giving pet owners a chance to parade their pooches on April 18, while Livingston Cellars will host complimentary daily wine sampling from noon to 5 p.m.
The rally has been an annual event hosted by the million member family Good Sam Club, along with Camping World President’s Club, Camp Club USA, Coast to Coast Resorts, Woodall’s and Trailer Life and MotorHome magazines. All the organizations are either owned by or affiliated with Affinity, the nation’s largest provider of outdoor recreation clubs, services, media and events, headquartered in Ventura, Calif.