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Good Sam Rally: Cacti, Coaches and Country Music

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Thousands of happy Good Sam Rally guests from all over the United States and Canada were treated to a taste of Arizona’s warm early spring weather, intriguing history and culture, some fabulous entertainment, and the chance to make new RVing friends. The sparkling Arizona sun shone down on 3,370 RVs as they spent March 22 through 25 at Phoenix International Raceway during the first of the 2012 Good Sam Rallies, presented by DISH.

Country superstar Martina McBride had the audience moving.

Country superstar Martina McBride had the audience moving.

Entertainment Options

Opening night on Thursday featured none other than Bowzer of Sha Na Na, who arrived cruisin’ down the track in a 1952 Kaiser convertible. Bill Cosby captivated the Friday audience with his tales and philosophies of life. Contemporary country superstar Martina McBride had the audience movin’ to the music during Saturday evening’s outstanding feature performance. And on the final night, the audience sang their favorite Beatles’ tunes with the tribute band, Ticket to Ride.

This cooking seminar took a look at the Dutch oven.

This cooking seminar took a look at the Dutch oven.

Educational Seminars

During the day, Rally guests and day-pass visitors could spend their time attending the 130-plus Rally seminars, viewing the new motorhomes on display and shopping at the giant onsite trade show. Whether Rally-goers were seasoned RV veterans or newbies, there were educational experiences for everyone.

MotorHome and Trailer Life Publisher Bob Livingston offered RVing 101. The RV Safety Education Foundation led classes on electrical system safety, RV air brakes and LP-gas safety. Guests were also invited to learn more about the beautiful host state of Arizona through a series of seminars presented by the Heard Museum. Former Congressman Barry Goldwater Jr. and Arizona’s official state historian, Marshall Trimble, were the guest speakers. Rally guests also participated in craft projects that included making bear claw paper quilts and a Zuni fetish.

Judges pick during the 8th Annual Rally Dog Show.

Judges pick during the 8th Annual Rally Dog Show.

Fun & Games

Many of the traditional programs took place, including the 8th Annual Rally Dog Show, followed by a pet parade, and Camping World’s Match & Win contest, but there were also some new additions. More than 500 veterans marched in the new Veterans’ Salute, separating into their particular branch of service. David Woodworth, America’s leading RV historian and the owner of the world’s largest collection of historic RVs, was on hand to display his 1931 Model A Ford Roadster and 1931 Covered Wagon travel trailer. Both were manufactured in Detroit. Covered Wagon was in its third year of production that year and would go on to become a major player in the budding travel trailer manufacturing industry during that decade. Guests were also thoroughly entertained and amused by Dr. Buck’s Wild West Variety Show.

While enjoying themselves during the gorgeous weekend in Arizona, Rally guests also gave back, with volunteers cleaning up the nearby Tres Rios Wetlands project, donating nearly $10,000 to Dogs for the Deaf, and lovingly making and donating more than 500 blankets for Project Linus. That’s just the kind of people a lot of RVers like to be.

If you missed Phoenix and couldn’t make it to the second Rally in Louisville, Ky., don’t worry, the final 2012 Good Sam Rally is just around the corner. RVers will take over the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Fla., November 2-4.  Country music superstar Reba McEntire is one of the Rally headliners scheduled to perform.

Guests can register by visiting www.therally.com, or calling 877-749-7122.

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