By Jerry Yeatts, F390000
Several years ago, I was invited to Carburetion Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Other than going to a demolition derby or a tractor pull at our county fair, I had never really attended an event of this magnitude. I could feel the vibration in my chest as the cars circled the oval track. It was truly exhilarating.
I then toured the Hall of Fame Museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What an amazing collection of Indy and Formula One cars, including the Marmon “Wasp,” the winner of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. It was a sight to behold.
My day at the Speedway didn’t end there. I stood next to the platform that elevates the winning driver and car at the end of the race. I could imagine hearing Jim Nabors singing “Back Home Again In Indiana” and could picture the cheering crowd as the winner enjoyed the traditional celebratory milk “toast” from the glass jug. Walking through the Media Pagoda, I could visualize and hear press from all around the world covering this prestigious event.
It seems as though the eyes of the world often focus on Indianapolis, Indiana, for some spectacular events. Besides the Indianapolis 500, this Midwestern city, known as the “Crossroads of America,” has hosted both the men’s and women’s NCAA Final Four basketball tournaments; is home to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts; and recently served as the host city for Super Bowl XLVI. And, August 27-30, 2012, Indianapolis will host FMCA’s 87th Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase.
There are so many things to see and do in and around Indianapolis. Just a few blocks away from the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the site of the Family Reunion, is Broad Ripple Village. Art galleries, one-of-a-kind shops, bars, clubs, and restaurants pack this neighborhood.
If you want to feel as though you are partying on the River Walk in San Antonio, or perhaps the canals of Venice, then venture toward Indy’s downtown area to The Canal Walk and White River State Park. Rent a bike or a boat and travel the canal to museums; shops; the Indianapolis Zoo; White River Gardens; and Victory Field Baseball Stadium, home of the Triple A-International League Indianapolis Indians.
Take advantage of the central location of Indianapolis to explore some great day-trip or overnight locations by car. Within a two-hour drive of Indianapolis is Louisville, Kentucky. You may wish to travel in the Bluegrass State along the Bourbon Trail between Louisville and Lexington. Approximately three hours away lie Chicago, Illinois; Elkhart and French Lick, Indiana; and Columbus, Ohio. Four hours away are St. Louis, Missouri, and Springfield and Peoria, Illinois.
FMCA’s national headquarters is located just two hours away in Cincinnati, known as the Queen City. We welcome you to visit the office on your way to or from the Reunion. You may wish to take in a Cincinnati Reds game on your way to the Reunion as they battle the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ballpark, August 24, 25, and 26. Following the Reunion, you could return to the Queen City for Labor Day weekend and join in the official farewell to summer with a fantastic fireworks display enjoyed by 500,000 people on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
FMCA’s Events Department staff is in high gear putting together an exciting program for the Reunion, whose theme is “Formula for FUN!” Motorhome exhibits will be inside and outside at this venue. Vendors offering all the accessories to help enhance your RV lifestyle will be located adjacent to the motorhome exhibits. Most of the educational offerings will be in close proximity to the exhibits as well. Evening entertainment will be held inside the air-conditioned Pepsi Coliseum.
The 87th Family Reunion also will mark the beginning of a yearlong celebration of FMCA’s 50th anniversary, culminating with a huge bash in Gillette, Wyoming, June 19-22, 2013. All in all, the Reunion in Indy will be an event that will be FUN for everyone. A registration form for the Indianapolis Reunion appears on pages 48A-B of this magazine.
So, start your engines, set your GPS, and head to the Crossroads of America for FMCA’s 87th Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase. We look forward to seeing you there!
To learn more about what Indianapolis has to offer, check out www.visitindy.com.
Tents For Troops Launches Petition Drive
Tents For Troops, a nationwide network of RV parks and campgrounds that offer free RV and camping sites to active U.S. military personnel and their families, including reservists, has asked President Barack Obama to issue an executive order that would require all parks located on federally owned property to provide free camping for active U.S> military men and women and their families. You may support this cause by singing the Tents for Troops “We The People” petition to the White House. The petition is available for signatures — www.whitehouse.gov/petitions — during the period of April 1 to April 30, 2012. Thank you for supporting our troops.