RVIA_CentennialThe RV industry kicked off a year-long celebration of the RV Centennial with a moving toast to the industry’s proud history and bright future at RVIA’s “Outlook 2010” this morning (Dec. 1)  in Louisville, Ky.

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Public Relations Committee Chairman B.J. Thompson and Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Gary LaBella encouraged 1,000 Outlook attendees to reflect with pride on the RV industry’s history of achievement and endurance, according to a news release.

LaBella said, “As we ready ourselves to head into this year’s show, to examine the latest innovations and technological breakthroughs, consider how far our industry has come through the years. The first humble car campers and camping trailers rolled out of factories in 1910. Since then we’ve lived through a tumultuous century filled with social, economic and cultural upheaval. But, we’re still here.”

Thompson continued, “In another hundred years, RVs will still be around in some form because people will always want to spend time having fun outdoors with friends and family. And there’s no better way to do it than in an RV.”

RVIA Spirit of America Award Winner David Woodworth then joined Thompson and LaBella in leading a stirring toast, paying tribute to the values of freedom espoused by the RV industry, and saluting “Building the affordable dream. . . To the past hundred years – and to the next hundred years. . . To the lure of the open road. . . . To the pioneering spirit. . . . To the simple life. . . . To going green. . . . To the great outdoors. . . To a year of sunshine. . . . To a century of sunshine.”

Members of the Louisville Chorus, dressed in gospel choir robes, joined the onstage band in singing a rousing version of “Let the Sun Shine” as the toast concluded.

The RV Centennial is an industry-wide, year-long celebration to recognize the 100th anniversary of the RV industry with an array of events and promotions. The year 1910 has been identified as the beginning of the RV industry when the first mass-produced, manufactured auto campers and camping trailers — the forerunners of today’s RVs — were built.