The day was warm and sunny when we arrived at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia in mid-morning on May 23rd Sedalia is a small, clean town in the rolling hills of west central Missouri. It is big enough to support a Wal-Mart and Lowes, but small enough to not have a lot of traffic congestion.
Rains the week before had made it “iffy” for the parking crew as several of their members had become stuck in the damp soft ground. We had dry conditions when we arrived and parking was easy.
After we had registered, we made our way to the Row. The Row was inside and, although separate from the venders, our building was in a good location as traffic had to pass us to get to hospitality and the venders. Our first meeting was at 2:00 p.m. and at 3:00 p.m. we went over to the main building for the Parade of Banners practice. At 5:00 p.m. we attended the catered Row dinner, than retired early.
The Row officially opened at 9:00 a.m., Sunday, May 24th. It was an extremely busy day with over 139 visitors to our booth. We closed at 2:00 p.m. and prepared for Opening Ceremonies and the Parade of Banners. The Chapters/Certified BOFs/Rainbow Parks were arranged in numerical order and we were 33rd in line for the parade. As we passed in review the Chapter/CBOF/Park’s logo and the names of the representatives were flashed on the screen. There were fifty-one Chapters/CBOFs/Rainbow Parks represented. Chapter 44 was the only Canadian chapter present.
That evening we were entertained by the “New Odyssey” band. “It was three guys from Chicago playing thirty different instruments with big band results”. Yes, they got around to playing all instruments; in fact in one medley they played 27. Awesome!
On Monday morning the skies darkened and the rains came. We were glad that the Row was inside. We were open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Many visitors to the booth raved about the beauty of Alberta and checked our map to follow the path of their travels. Others came to reminisce about the place where some distant relative lived and to recall fond memories.
Monday night’s entertainment was provided by the Brett Family from Branson. They took us back to the music of the 50s than brought the crowd to its feet with stories, acts, an impromptu basketball game and poems. Again, this was a show to remember.
Tuesday and Wednesday were long days, but visitors had dropped off sharply and we had time to visit other booths and compare notes and displays. The Alberta brochures that I had gotten from Alberta tourism at the big tent in Quartzsite last January kept disappearing but we had an adequate supply.
We collected 282 signatures in our guest book. Many of them were couples so total visitors were over 500. There were 753 rigs at Escapade 2009 and 1388 attendees.
The rains that had started on Monday continued through Thursday and our campground looked more like a marina with standing water everywhere. The unparking crew consisted of three 10-ton wreckers that were busy all morning. By mid-afternoon Thursday those people who had been in a rush to leave were gone and the excitement of watching a 40-foot Class A motor home get towed was over and things calmed down. It was also time to attend the closing ceremonies and a Chapter 8 Mexican Connection social.
Friday dawned clear and sunny. It was a relief to watch the water drain away. We had stayed an extra day to attend the VCR meeting so were not due out until Saturday.
Saturday was warm and dry. We departed our camping site without as much as spinning a wheel.