CEO Shawn Loring meets with attendees to share information about the club and what lies ahead

Friday (March 24) marked the final day of the 57th Escapade, the annual rally hosted by the Escapees RV Club — said to be the third-largest RV club in the nation — and event organizers are calling it a resounding success.

Travis and Melanie Carr, Escapees president and vice president, respectively, and the third generation of the same family to head the group, told RVBUSINESS.com that 917 rigs and 2,652 people attended the Escapade, held March 19-24 at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Ariz.

“We had an amazing turnout for this year’s Escapade. This was the biggest event we have had in a while and we couldn’t be happier about the success. In addition to the spectacular attendance, we had 130 volunteers throughout the week and over $7,000 was raised as donations to the Escapees CARE program,” Melanie Carr said.

First held in 1979 in Bakersfield, Calif., with 24 families attending, the 2017 Escapade featured more than 80 educational and lifestyle seminars and FAQ sessions, computer and RV technical presentations, crafts sessions, line dancing, Zumba, RV-driving classes, a vendor trade show, and daily socials throughout the busy week.

In addition, during the Escapade’s farewell party Friday night, members will celebrate the 90th birthday of the Escapee RV Club’s founder, Kay Peterson, who was in attendance. Both Kay, and her late husband, Joe, are members of the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

“We are so sad the event is coming to an end. It has been a week filled with education, fun and most importantly, lasting memories and friendships,” Melanie Carr said. “One of our staff members said it so well: when we are here at Escapade, it’s almost like we’re in our own little bubble. The Escapees community — I should really say family — is so unique and I love that no matter where you go inside the fairgrounds you will see people hugging, sharing in laughter and sitting around a campfire. There is no doubt that the Escapade’s live up to our motto of ‘Caring & Sharing.’ We can’t wait to see everyone in Sedalia, Mo., for the 2018 Escapade.”

Carr noted that the event included the introduction an Escapade Event App, which provided “an extra level of value because our attendees were able to easily view the daily schedule, interactive maps, make their own schedules, view important documents and receive important alerts.”

“It was a huge success and I have a feeling we will be seeing more things like this in the future,” Carr mentioned, adding that 65 children enrolled in the Kidscapade program, hosted by the Fulltime Families group for the second year in a row.