What could be better than almost 700 happy Tiffinites converged in one area under beautiful Florida sunny skies during February???? Sarasota County Fairgrounds was the site for our Spring Tiffin rally February 24-28, 2020. The weather was almost perfect with warm sunny days and cool crisp evenings. One afternoon of spring showers served to emphasize how fortunate we were for all of the other great days!
Move-in and parking was seamless thanks to everyone’s cooperation and the help of our wonderful volunteer parking committee. After parking, registering and receiving a welcome bag of Tiffin goodies, everyone was free to enjoy the beautiful Sarasota weather and spend time getting to know their new neighbors in Tiffinville! The vendors & suppliers building was open and many indulged in shopping for accessories for their home on wheels.
Lazydays RV was present with 25 beautiful new 2020 Tiffin coaches with everything from a 25’ Wayfarer to a 45’ Allegro Bus. We appreciate them participating in our rally! Lazydays was able to make several folks dream come true by helping them move into a new Tiffin coach. Congratulations to these new owners!!
The rally kicked off at dinner Monday evening. The rally schedule was reviewed, announcements made by Kelly Moore, and Bob Tiffin welcomed the group. Everyone is always excited for the opportunity to meet Bob & Judy Tiffin, founders of Tiffin Motorhomes. After dinner the group enjoyed the raffle drawing for fantastic Tiffin ‘stuff’ and we were honored to celebrate the veterans in attendance. As the different military anthems were played and flags presented on stage by US veterans, veterans of the respective branches were asked to stand. God Bless the USA was played as the American flag was presented and everyone stood as they waved the flags that had been placed on their tables before dinner. It’s an honor and blessing to recognize the service given by our veterans!
To close out Monday evening’s festivities, it’s always fun to have a few competitive rounds of Tiffin Bingo where the winners must call out “Allegro” to win Tiffin prizes. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to Tom and Pat Webber for serving as our special Bingo Hosts!
Tuesday started bright and early for a few dedicated souls who met to walk for better health. Great job, folks! After a delicious country buffet breakfast that included scrumptious fresh Florida fruit, seminars were held designed to help owners learn more about their coaches and other RV related topics. Three days of informative sessions covering a variety of subjects were presented about Tiffin Electrical 101, PowerGlide Chassis; Freightliner Custom Chassis; Onan generators, Triple H and Kenwood electronics; Magnum Inverters, Valid Air, etc. just to mention a few.
We were fortunate to have several highly skilled service technicians from Red Bay and Winfield as well as Lazydays on the grounds to perform minor service repairs to owners’ coaches. These are the hardest working individuals at the rally! They start early and stay late to insure everyone receives a visit to their coach. We consider them our ‘rock stars’ at the rallies!
After a full morning of intense seminars and note taking, we wanted to treat everyone to ice cream! Many thanks to Girard Awnings for sponsoring the delicious ice cream treats on such a beautiful, sunny afternoon!
On Tuesday evening everyone gathered in Robarts Arena for another delicious meal prepared by Metz Catering in Sarasota. Again, more Tiffin ‘stuff’ was awarded at the raffle drawing after dinner! So much fun! We were very happy to bring the Beatle Maniacs to perform for the rally. This awesome group would make you believe you were once again seeing and hearing the incredible Beatles! Just an exciting show! Everyone was singing along to those old favorite songs. Several hoarse voices were heard the next morning! The flashlight app of smartphones replaced the Bic lighters of years past as white lights glowed across the audience. The Beatle Maniacs mainly perform aboard large cruise ships and we were very fortunate to catch them between sailings for our rally.
Wednesday morning saw our energetic walkers out again bright and early. Additional seminars were held followed by a bountiful lunch of pulled pork bar-b-que with all the trimmings including delicious homemade banana pudding! Thank you to everyone who demonstrated their ingenuity and talents by decorating their RV site in our “Fun, fun, fun under the Sarasota Sun” contest. The windy conditions on Wednesday made it challenging, but we had several fun scenes! Prizes were awarded during dinner for the top four RV sites. After dinner on Wednesday evening, we bought back the wonderful music of Motown! A high-energy group known as the Sounds of Soul performed many great hits such as “My Girl”, “Proud Mary” and many others.
Once again, on Thursday morning our walkers were out and about at a crisp pace. You folks are an inspiration to everyone! Seminars began promptly at 9:00 AM. Several other popular seminars included at this rally were “Tips for Terrified RV Drivers”, “Tips and Tricks for RV Living”, and “Convection Oven Cooking Tips”. Following the seminars, attendees enjoyed a swap meet/craft-hobby show. We supplied the tables & owners provided the merchandise. One never knows what can be found at these swap meets! One person’s junk is another person’s treasure! Mr. & Mrs. Tiffin graciously provided ice cream treats for everyone Thursday afternoon immediately following the swap meet.
After our delicious, farewell dinner by Metz Catering and even more fantastic door prizes and presentations, guests enjoyed another night of great entertainment by the band, Alter Eagles. These talented men presented an evening of all the wonderful Eagles songs that we remember and loved. It was a fun filled evening that was a perfect ending to the rally. We simply cannot thank our happy, smiling volunteers enough for their fantastic help during the rally! A rally cannot occur without the assistance of many willing hands and feet. It takes a village!
Friday morning saw everyone saying last minute farewells. Coaches began their orderly exit as everyone continued their journey on to another destination. Until next time, happy trails and “Keep Roughing It Smoothly!”