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RV Snowbirds Enjoy Spring Festivals

Snowbirds enjoy springtime farewell festivals and festivities before they hitch up their RVs to travel north.

by Fran Crawford

Ah, Spring! Spring, when a young man's fancy lightly turns to... baseball! When jonquils and daffodils peek up through the soil to see if rumors of the sun's warmth are true. When RV Snowbirds catch every weather forecast to see what the temperatures are at destinations up north. Then they map their RV travels to their summer nesting grounds.

Male Snowbirds begin to check out their motorhhomes, travel trailers and fifth wheels, making sure they are good to go. Female Snowbirds finish up their craft projects and gather the summer addresses of their winter friends. All across the southern states spring is the ritualistic initiator as RV traveling Snowbirds segue to summer.

But wait! Try to hang on another week or two. You don't want to miss the southern states' spring festivals and snowbird RV park farewell parties.

Festivals heralding the arrival of spring and honoring the exodus of winter residents are becoming more widespread in RV snowbird country, in snowbird RV parks and resorts as well as in the communities that surround them. It seems that once the Quartzsite RV Show gets things rolling the festivities continue on through the spring until it gets too hot.

Jam sessions, fishing derbys, square dancing, cowboy poet gatherings, golf tourneys, treasure hunting, motorsports, craft shows... whatever your hobbies are you can follow a trail of your favorite activities as you head northbound for your summer place.

From the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show, usually annually in March in Albuquerque, New Mexico to the Saratoga Festival and Dressage on Memorial Day weekend in Saratoga Springs, New York, if you are traveling east. Or to the World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale in Miles City, Montana, in May if you're headed to the northwest. These are just a few examples.

For more information about events in the U.S. go to www.festivals.com on the internet. But be sure you have plenty of time, there is a lot to read about.

You can always locate less commercial but still fun activities and events by picking up and reading those tabloid sized local publications that are free and usually found in racks outside pizza restaurants. Or just type your own individual interests and locations into Google on the internet with the word event or festival or something similar and check out what is available.

Of course it is to the advantage of snowbird RV parks and communities to make RVers feel happy and welcome. They want you back again in October. Some parks even invite transient snowbirds, who pass through on their way north, to stop by and attend the festivities and check out the amenities of their park.

Farewell events may just be a special dinner, a dance, an evening of entertainment or they could be an entire week of fun and activities.

An example of a week long celebration is the Adios Snowbirds Festival and Jubilee staged at Ramblin' Roads RV Park in Hope, Arizona. Park management advertises the event ahead of time to the surrounding area. RVers from Yuma, Gila Bend, Quartzsite and elsewhere make advanced reservations and usually arrive in time for the first activity of the week.

Golf, horseshoe and shuffleboard tournaments, daily bingo, afternoon jam sessions, and nightly entertainment in the recreation hall keep participants so busy there is no time to cook meals. But that isn't necessary because the nominal fee for the entire week includes space with full hook-ups, all the activities, and daily breakfasts, afternoon snacks and suppers.

The day starts with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and ends after the evening's entertainment. Following Friday night's supper is the presentation of tournament awards and raffle drawing prizes. The final entertainment program is presented by the Beyond Hope Bluegrass Boys... park residents who have been practicing all winter.

A mass exodus follows Saturday morning's 'hitch-up' breakfast and includes teary farewells and the hope to 'see you down the road'.

These end of season festivals are great for all of the RV Snowbirds who participate. A big part is sharing what they know about the different places they have visited in the areas where they stayed during the winter.

Some of the folks who come to spend the week at Ramblin' Roads travel together in groups of two or three Rvs and they caravan north to stop at festivities in Laughlin or Las Vegas before moving on. That is the best way to make Spring last longer... just follow it north.

So which ever way you're headed out, and whatever your winter RV destination, drive safely. And remember what the old red signs on the roadside used to say: Spring ... has sprung ... the grass ... has riz ... where last year's ... careless ... driver is... ... Burma Shave.

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