|Friday, July 14, drove to Forest City, Iowa, the birthplace of our Motor Home. The Winnebago Grand National Rally is to start on Sunday evening July 16th. There are activities that start the week before but we are arrive the Friday before the main rally. We arrived about 3:00 pm, stop by the local park and fill our 90-gallon fresh water tank before arriving at the rally grounds. The only hook-up on the rally grounds is electricity, so you must use your own water supply and hold the waste in your own holding tanks. We get parked on the Missouri row by about 4:00pm. It looked like about 80% of the participants are already there and it is still two days before the opening day. There are parking spots for 1600 rigs and we later find out that there were just shy of 1500 that actually attend this year. The City of Forest City has a population of 4500 but the rally brings in town about that many people. If you figure that 1500 rigs and each rig has a minimum of two people with some bringing kids and grandkids, plus all the vendors and other part-time workers, the population of Forest City will double the week of the rally. The city takes advantage of the additional visitors and has their own celebration, parade, craft shows, etc. the week before the rally. One or those activities takes place at Heritage Park, which is adjacent to the rally grounds. There they have a replica of an old town with a blacksmith shop, stores, firehouse, church, school, houses etc. This Saturday and Sunday they are having a demonstration of old farm equipment and steam tractors. On Sunday they are having Draft Horse pulling contest. It is a very hot weekend, but I walk over on Saturday and both Carol and I go walk over on Sunday for the Draft Horse pull. Luckily they have a canopy over some bleachers so we spent a couple hours watching the horse pull. It was very interesting but very hot. The opening of the rally is Sunday evening. Description of the rally is the next entry.