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Industry Members Report on RV Centennial Celebrations

As the spring retail show season shifts into high gear, RV industry members are celebrating the RV Centennial in a variety of unique ways.


Multiple consumer RV shows are participating in Centennial Charlie’s Cross Country Caravan: 100 Days to Celebrate 100 Years of RVing by hosting the Official Ambassador of the 2010 RV Centennial – a 34” American black bear stuffed animal – on his road trip to honor the people who love RVing and the workers who are the heart and soul of the RV industry. 


Centennial Charlie, who is inspired by the bear in Go RVing's 2010 "Ambassadors of Affordability" ad campaign, is a popular draw at the consumer events, according to show promoters. Mark House reported from the 41st Annual RV Supershow in Oklahoma City that Centennial Charlie “was a hit with our crowd.” And Dave Kelly of FRVTA reported from the Jacksonville (FL) RV Show, “several people wanted to take him home!”


Several RV manufacturers and suppliers are also planning to host Centennial Charlie, with many scheduling employee, dealer, and customer appreciation events around his visit. RV dealerships are also taking advantage of Centennial Charlie’s visits to include him in rallies and draw attention to the industry’s 100th anniversary. To date, Charlie has met thousands of consumers and RV industry employees across seven states, with many more to come.


During Centennial Charlie’s visits, staff of RV companies and consumer shows take photos of the bear with RV workers and showgoers to be included in a video chronicle of the mascot’s tour. The video will be shared with the RV industry at its June 7 celebration at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum, and later will be posted on YouTube.


In other Centennial developments, the state governments of Iowa and Indiana have each adopted resolutions declaring June 2010 to be RV Centennial Celebration month. The Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (RVIC) worked with the Indiana state legislature to have the resolution adopted, and Winnebago Industries worked closely with the Iowa legislature for its adoption of a resolution “in support of the ideals and goals” of the RV Centennial. 


To commemorate the industry’s anniversary, the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum has produced patches embroidered with the RV Centennial logo and designed to attach to service uniforms. The full-color patches are available for purchase through the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum for $2 each by calling 800-378-8694.


“The RV Centennial offers a terrific opportunity for our entire industry – including campgrounds and dealers – to take a moment to acknowledge our success, and to also thank the terrific employees and consumers who have contributed to create a hundred-year old industry that is focused on bringing families closer together,” said RVIA President Richard Coon.

Industry members are encouraged to make use of the message board at www.rvcentennial.org to discuss their Centennial Celebration plans. Message board participants have already posted terrific ideas for celebrating the industry’s 100th Anniversary, reporting on events they have planned, and unique ways to use the official RV Centennial logo on company web sites, marketing materials, and even on celebratory cakes!  


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