The Springfield, Mass., RV Camping and Outdoor Show, marking its 50th year, will open Friday (Feb. 17) and run for four days at the Eastern States Exposition Center.
According to a report by The Republican, the show attracted some 37,000 attendees last year and has grown over the years to become one of the longest-running shows of its kind in New England.
Visitors will find exhibits by many major RV dealers who offer a wide range of equipment from basic pop-up tent trailers to luxury RVs, as well as campgrounds and dozens of outdoor equipment and camping specialty suppliers. Over 200 exhibitors will set up displays in several buildings on the fairgrounds.
“Campgrounds today are getting more family-oriented,” said show chairman Angelo Zeni. “They’re not just selling space, but offering activities and amenities. You’ll find Christmas in July celebrations at some camps and pot luck dinners, as well as some bringing in bands to perform and offering everything from pools to game rooms and even Wi-Fi.”
Travel Town Trailers of Southwick, one of the many RV dealers attending this weekend’s show, has been with the event since its inception. A family owned business since 1962, the company has its own niche in the RV industry selling park models.
“We don’t go to a lot of shows, but this is one of the best. It’s all done with volunteers who are members of a campground association,” said owner David Spillane. “We’ve been through all the cycles, the ups and downs of the RV industry, and without a doubt, we have been seeing an upswing in the past few years. People are always going to have leisure time, and they may give up some other things, but they’re always going to want to enjoy their vacation whether its RVing or participating in other recreational sports.”
He added, “What we are selling are recreational park trailers for destination camping that look like actual homes. We deliver these trailers to where the buyer wants them. Then, as part of destination camping, they leave their home on Friday in their own car, which is more economical, and usually travel one or two hours away, only to return home on Sunday.”
In honor of the 50th annual show, organizers will be awarding a grand prize of $5,000 to some lucky attendee who deposits their admission ticket in the prize area in Mallary Arena. The show is produced by volunteer members of Pioneer Valley Chapter 8 (PV8) of the North American Family Campers Association (NAFCA).