Enjoy the terrific daytime entertainment on tap at the “Navigate To The North Star State” convention.
By Doug Uhlenbrock, Associate Editor
Members attending FMCA’s 80th International Convention at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, July 14 through 18, 2008, will find plenty to see and do during the daytime hours. Convention-goers can inspect or test-drive the selection of new motorhomes on display; find products and services available to motorhome enthusiasts in the exhibit halls; learn more about the RV lifestyle at countless educational seminars; or take a terrific off-site tour of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. And if you find yourself in need of a little rest and relaxation, enjoy a great lineup of daytime entertainment.
All daytime entertainment will take place at the Daytime Entertainment Stage, located off Carnes Avenue behind the Outdoor Demonstration Area and in front of the Grandstand.
An FMCA favorite kicks off the festivities on Monday, July 14, when Willie & Company appears at 10:30 a.m., courtesy of Freightliner Custom Chassis, C1905, an FMCA Five Star sponsor. If you miss the Monday show, Willie & Company can be seen again on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
Get ready to laugh “” and be amazed “” when ventriloquist Peggy Miller and her sidekick, Willie, bring their rib-tickling humor to the stage. This duo has entertained at FMCA conventions for years, making many friends along the way. Six-year-old Willie is the self-proclaimed star of the show, sweet-talking the ladies, poking fun at the men, and putting smiles on the children’s faces. Although he may startle some with his quick wit, his innocent charm “” along with Peggy’s admonishments “” keeps him from getting into too much trouble.
Fans of country music will want to make a note to be at the Daytime Entertainment Stage at 2:00 p.m. Monday to hear the Tim Sigler Band perform a selection of hits from country music’s biggest stars. Appearing either solo or with his four-piece band, Tim plays nearly 200 shows a year, wowing audiences with his renditions of songs from greats such as Johnny Cash, George Strait, Keith Urban, and more. His playlist also includes hits from rock and roll artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, and the Eagles, to name a few.
Those who can’t wait to check out the new motorhomes displayed in St. Paul can get a sneak peek at the latest models during the “Motorhome Preview” on Monday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p. m. in the outdoor display area. A variety of bus conversions and production motorhomes in all sizes and price ranges will be open for inspection. In addition, don’t miss strolling through the “Type B/C Area,” a special display of type B and type C motorhomes.
Beginning on Tuesday, July 15, attendees can start their morning with complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, and doughnuts, while quantities last, at Morning Coffee Hour, begining at 7:00 a.m. The morning refreshments will be provided by Roadmaster Inc., C2952, an FMCA Five Star sponsor. The Coffee Hour Area will be adjacent to the Daytime Entertainment Stage near the Grandstand.
In addition, complimentary copies of the St. Paul Pioneer Press will be distributed during this time, while supplies last, compliments of American Coach, C985, an FMCA Super Star sponsor. Also, make sure you keep up-to-date on all the latest convention happenings by picking up a copy of the FMCA “Navigate To The North Star State” newsletter each morning.
While you’re enjoying your morning treats, take in the sounds of FMCA’s own Frustrated Maestros, who will perform Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Daytime Entertainment Stage. This eclectic ensemble, composed of members from FMCA’s 10 Frustrated Maestros chapters, has been a convention staple since the first Frustrated Maestros chapter formed in 1981.
On Tuesday, entertainer Jason Huneke brings his “edgy but clean” comedy show to the Daytime Entertainment Stage at 10:30 a.m. Jason’s performance is filled with deadpan humor intermixed with juggling, manipulation, and a crowd-pleasing Michael Jackson-inspired dance routine. For the past 10 years he has headlined hundreds of events and has been featured on numerous television and radio broadcasts throughout the United States.
Later that day, local singer Tim Patrick will perform a variety of great American jazz standards during his 2:30 p.m. appearance. Tim’s repertoire includes songs made famous by old-time crooners such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, and others. Although he didn’t get the nerve to sing in public until 2004, Tim already has performed at numerous jazz clubs in the United States and Europe, as well as providing entertainment at weddings, corporate events, and other social functions. His debut CD, The Shadow of Your Smile, has received airplay on numerous jazz stations throughout the world.
On Wednesday, Bob’s Cats, a select group of Frustrated Maestros, will play Dixieland tunes and other favorites from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Daytime Entertainment Stage before and during the Ice Cream Social, which will start at 1:00 p.m. The cool treats will be distributed in the Coffee Hour area compliments of Miller Insurance Agency, C3045, an FMCA Two Star sponsor.
Make sure to stick around the Daytime Entertainment Stage following the Ice Cream Social as Flakey The Magic Clown performs his “Magic Show For Kids Of All Ages” beginning at 2:30 p.m. Flakey, better known as Henry Gartner, F197563, when not in makeup, has delighted FMCA audiences for years with his balloon creations and magic tricks. Besides his usual antics, Flakey will teach those in the audience how to perform several tricks that they can use to wow friends at their next campground gathering. Flakey also will entertain the youngsters at Youth Center registration on Monday and at the Youth Center throughout the convention. Flakey will appear in St. Paul courtesy of Blue Ox, C2903, an FMCA One Star sponsor.
As a special treat for car enthusiasts, a number of Street Rods will be on display near the Daytime Entertainment Stage on Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Come see these beautiful classics and their proud owners.
On Thursday, close your eyes and imagine relaxing on a sun-drenched beach as Stoney Savanna regales you with his renditions of Caribbean-inspired songs at the Daytime Entertainment Stage, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Stoney, who grew up in British Guyana and Barbados but now lives in nearby Richfield, Minnesota, has 25 years of experience as a guitarist and vocalist. His repertoire of calypso, reggae, and Latin songs include hits by Bob Marley, Harry Belafonte, the Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffett, Santana, and more. He has produced a pair of CDs titled Cool Breeze and Caribbean Christmas.
So if you’re searching for a song or a laugh to brighten your day, or just need a well-deserved break from all the looking and learning you’ll be doing, stop by the Daytime Entertainment Stage, where you’ll find a variety of great acts to enjoy.