Some nice fall Indiana festivals

Our set up at Atlanta Earth Days

Our set up at Atlanta Earth Days

Indiana offers some really nice fall festivals that are suitable for the entire family. Depending upon your home location, many of these will be a great event for a one day outing.

Atlanta Earth Days has been a tradition in central Indiana for years. Entertainment and hundreds of craft and merchandise vendors set up all over town. You can find anything for sale at this exciting shopping event. Bands also perform, and there are tons of food vendors scattered throughout the town. Thousands of folsk take advantage of this iconic festival each year.

Atlanta is just minutes north of Indianapolis. Here is their website.

The Cataract Bean Festival is held the first weekend in October in the tiny town of Cataract, Indiana. Home to the Cataract Falls State Recreation Area, the site is perfect for a fun event. The Cataract Volunteer Fire Department puts on the event which is their fundraising project each year.

Over 700 pound of beans are cooked over open fires in huge cast iron kettles. Served with cornbread, the firefighters always sell out each day! In addition to local entertainment, one of the highlights is the huge open air market. Crafts and flea market vendors fill nearly every open spot in the town. In addition you’ll find the full range of food concessions set up. Here is the VFD website.

Fort Vallonia Days in Jackson County is also one of those huge festivals set in a tiny town. Each year this festival continues a decades long tradition of providing a wholesome family event. The normal crowd size reaches nearly 30,000 people! Running for two days, Saturday is the day of the large parade that is fun for kids of all ages.

Hundreds of vendors are set up selling all kinds of goods. You can find inexpensive new merchandise, great antiques and lots of beautiful handmade crafts. Food? You bet! There are all the usual food concession trailers scattered around the town. Here is the Fort Vallonia Days website.

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Indiana’s huge covered bridge festival

Large crowds looking for that elusive bargain!

Large crowds looking for that elusive bargain!

Each October Parke County, Indiana is the scene of the annual Covered Bridge Festival. This event sees close to two million people converging on the area for a ten day festival. While there are several beautiful vintage covered bridges scattered throughout the county, most folks come for the shopping.

And shopping there is! There are several small communities that become filled with vendor tents, food concession trailers and outdoor ‘yard sale’ type setups. It is true to state that if you can think of it it can be found for sale somewhere amongst the thousands of different vendors set up.

That's our RV on the right in the background, set up at the old school campground at Bridgeton Indiana

That’s our RV on the right in the background, set up at the old school campground at Bridgeton Indiana

We have set up camp in the little town of Bridgeton at an old (1920’s) school building grounds. There are several vendors set up on the grounds along with some food concession trailers. A few blocks north of our location there are hundreds of inside and outside vendors set up selling their wares. There are hand made crafts, new merchandise, antiques large and small and tons of “re-purposed” items. It is amazing how many ways an old wood pallet can be reused!

One of the hundreds of vendor displays at Bridgeton

One of the hundreds of vendor displays at Bridgeton

The Parke County Covered Bridge Festival should be on your bucket list. It is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the country. People from all over the country come to shop, as well as come to set up their booths and tents to sell. There are plenty of RV campgrounds nearby and many private land owners open their yards and fields for RVs to camp during the festival.

You never know what you’ll see

This “modified” Class C was set up across from us at a show this summer. Wow. The fellow who drives this did all the artwork/painting himself. He is from Canada and sets up at shows all across the country. You might see him at a festival some time. His rig is hard to miss!

The whole rig is covered in paintings. The more you look, the more you see!

The whole rig is covered in paintings. The more you look, the more you see!

Luther Logging Days in Michigan

20150703_115256_resizedSher and I had an absolute ball at the Luther Logging Days festival in Luther, Michigan. The festival ran the week of July 4th. We heard about this festival from a fellow vendor who was kind enough to give us the information for registration so we could set up and sell our wares.

Luther is a very small town (population 310) and is in the heart of logging and outdoor recreation country. The festival took place on the one main street in town, and we set up our selling space right next to the curb.

This festival was really fun. Sometimes when we are set up and selling we don’t get to share in the festivities. Not so at Luther: most of the activities took place near or in front of our booth space! There were bands, games for young and old alike and a wonderful parade on July 4th.

This was our set up

This was our set up

AM VET bikers in the parade

AM VET bikers in the parade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The people of Luther were very friendly and enjoy life to the fullest. Young and old alike really know how to have a good time.

Check the dryer first

Yes, those are leopard sheets...

Yes, those are leopard sheets…

There is something about coming off of a long weekend festival and heading to a campground for a little rest, relaxation and doing some laundry.

The campground was nice, great roads, only 15 bucks with the Passport America discount and the laundry was only about seven sites away. Ok, it was small, two washers and two dryers. One dryer had an “Out of order: does not spin” sign on the door with the coin slots taped shut. Ok, I got that. A couple of loads won’t be bad, waiting for the one dryer.

Two loads started, no sweat. First load into the dryer: coins in, heat level set for high, start buton pushed. Well, 30 minutes later the laundry is still wet. Long story short, this dryer had no trouble spining. It just didn’t provide any heat. The result was turning the Four Winds 22E into a clothes line.

When checking out that campground laundry, check the dryers first.

Tom Raper RV is now a Camping World dealer

Our Four Winds with the new cargo trailer

Our Four Winds with the new cargo trailer

Sher and I bought our Thor Four Winds class C motorhome from Tom Raper RV in Richmond, Indiana in December of 2014. We got a great deal, were treated well and very satisfied with the transaction. Tom Raper has been in the RV business for decades and most in the Midwest recognize ads for Exit 149A on I-70 in Richmond.

I was surprised when I went to the Tom Raper website in the search for a cargo trailer and bam! there was the Camping World website! The deal was reported back in January by media. Sadly media also reported that founder Tom Raper passed away this April in Florida. Tom Raper RV is now a Camping World dealer.

We got another great deal on a cargo trailer, working with Mitch Crowe, our salesman from the Thor Four Winds deal. Once again Mitch took great care of us. Within a couple of hours we had purchased the trailer, had it correctly hitched to our motorhome and were on our way.

We went to Michigan to get some merchandise to sell at upcoming festivals and shows. The pesky April weather was chilly, and our furnace in the Thor would not work. Heading back south we detoured to the Tom Raper/CW dealership. Long story short, the service department with no hassel found the problem (a bad contact in the thermostat) and even took care of a couple of other minor issues. Hats off to technician Steve and Hank and Paul at the service desk.

I have talked to several Tom Raper employees from the sales, parts and service departments. All said they were pleased with the transition from Tom Raper to Camping World. This change sems to be a good thing for not only the staff but also the customers of this dealership. I was very pleased with the way they took care of our furnace issue and the help with the other minor issues.

Saw a lot of antique John Deere tractors today

Today Sher and I finished setting up for the Flywheelers show that starts Wednesday. Final cleaning of some of the glassware and a couple of cabinets was needed. Then we finished putting the price tags on anything not already priced.

Later in the day friends of ours kindly let us borrow their golf cart. We took it for a tour of the grounds looking at lots of the other vendors and their displays.

On our route we passed a couple of areas that were filled with antique John Deere tractors. This show is featuring John Deere. I’m not really sure what that means, but there are a ton of the old green and yellow tractors on display. There are other different makes of antique macinery here, but the John Deere machines are everywhere.

An impressive line up of antique John Deere tractors

An impressive line up of antique John Deere tractors

An old Case threshing machine

An old Case threshing machine

CAM00244_resizedWe also drove through the Flywheeler’s Village. It will be very busy during the show, but today we could see all of the old fashioned looking buildings. There were many, many of these.

 

 

 

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Stokes Flea Market in Crystal River, Florida

Our RV parked adjacent to our vendor booth at Stokes Flea Market.

Our RV parked adjacent to our vendor booth at Stokes Flea Market.

We spent a couple of days at a long running flea Market in Crystal River, Florida. Open Tuesday and Wednesday each week, we set up on Monday night. The way the vendor spaces were set up allowed us to park the coach right next to the two spaces we needed to occupy.

Tuesday was kind of slow, but we did have some sales. Wednesday was much better, not only because there were more people, but also because the strong winds from Tuesday were gone on Wednesday. It is fun at the markets, because you always get to meet new people, or like today, even see some old friends.

Cloudy and cool today at Florida Flywheel

Tractor ready to start the pull

Tractor ready to start the pull

Today was cool and cloudy at the January Florida Flywheelers Antique Engine Club show. The lack of sunshine did not damper the activities. The crowds were moderate, at least those crowds that made it back to the aisle where we have our vendor spot. (We are set up in Row 70, spot 34, near to the tractor pull track.)

The digital reading in real time of the distanace the tractor has pulled. otice the sign on the sled: Antique, 5500 pound max tractor

The digital reading in real time of the distance the tractor has pulled. Notice the sign on the sled: Antique, 5500 pound max. tractor weight

Speaking of tractor pulls, I went over to the track this afternoon for the heavy weight antique tractor pull. Wow, was I impressed with the track and the way they operate the pulls. The track has digital readouts in realtime showing how far each tractor is pulling the sled. (The sled is a piece of machinery that the competition tractor pulls: the sled increases the weight as it is pulled along.)

The crowd watching the tractor pulls. There is another digital sign in the distance at the end of the track.

The crowd watching the tractor pulls. There is another digital sign in the distance at the end of the track.

The track offers plenty of seating for spectators, and of course lots of folks simply park their golf carts next to the track to watch. The track itself was in excellent shape. The rainfall a couple of days ago seemed to have helped by keeping the dust down. It was pretty cool to see a line of the old antique tractors waiting their turn to compete in the pulling contest.