Previously titled as the Jersey Roundup, since it was started by members of the Jersey Transit Group, this annual rally is currently being held at the Big Red Barn RV Park, in Carthage, MO, on the 2nd weekend of October each year.
This bus rally open to busses of all types, at any stage of conversion, from "tin can tenting" to "luxury conversion". We've even left it open to stick&staple RV's who are bus "wanna be's" or "maybe wanna be's" or maybe just friends with or related to other attendees. We've had all ages at previous rallies, from young to old, and all have had a good time.
The Big Red Barn Rv Park is located in Carthage, MO, and the Website is http://www.bigredbarnrvpark.com
. Carthage is about 15 miles east of Joplin, and 60 miles west of Springfield, MO. We had the rally at the Big Red Barn the last couple of years and found it to be nice and clean, with easy access for big rigs (very important to us busnuts), with many pull-throughs, and the owners are just as great as could be. They do allow pets and request, of course, that you "pick up" after your pet. The park also has full hookups, cable, and free wifi, so that's a plus. Please contact them directly and reserve your spot, as your campsite fee is the only fee you pay for this rally. We want to stress that although they reserve quite a few spots for our rally, they will rent all unused spots starting about two weeks before the rally, so if you plan on attending, please reserve just as early as possible. If you are "still on the fence", at least let us know of your situation so we can do our best to keep a spot for you.
The Central Roundup is a smaller rally, with a relaxed atmosphere, and we don't do a lot of "scheduling" at the roundup. Several people will probably arrive as early as Wednesday or Thursday, but most will roll in on Friday, or as late as Saturday morning. Evenings are usually spent swapping lies around the campfire, and we've been blessed with cool, but not cold weather, which makes the gathering very comfortable. During the day, some will just stay close and hang out, but many will head to one of the various destinations in the area, such as:
the Apple Butter Festival in nearby Mount Vernon, http://www.mtvernonchamber.com/mt_vernon_applebuttermakindays.php
which has the parade Saturday morning, and then of course, vendors, booths, activities, and yes, you guessed it, Apple Butter and other good eats.
The Chrome Shop Mafia, in nearby Joplin, http://www.chromeshopmafia.com
, a great source for chrome chotchkies and various parts, both new and used.
Colaw RV Salvage, http://www.colawrvsalvage.com
, (everyone needs to go there at least once, if not to browse through the amazing variety of new and used components, then to at least visit some of the many burn-out or totaled RV's they have on the lot. . .that'll get your attention!
Joplin Flea Market: a small indoor and outdoor flea market featuring local sellers.
Numerous Antique stores: Joplin has some GREAT antique stores, with excellent prices!
I-44 Bus Sales, Sarcoxie, MO. . .sells shells and conversions
Saturday evening will be yet another night of hanging around shooting the breeze (lying), telling stories (lying), comparing mpg and horsepower (and lying), well, you know what I mean. We've done a potluck or community chili pot on Saturday evening the last couple of years, so it's likely we'll do so again. Last year we sampled. . .err, I mean, we PREPARED several great desserts to go along with that meal!
I would ask that any who are planning to attend or are thinking they likely will attend to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and let me know, so that I can keep the campground updated on how many sites we will need. If you aren't sure at this time, but think you would like to come, let me know and I'll put you on the "potential" list, (meaning of course that you are not a total loser!), and then you can confirm one way or the other at least two weeks before the event, so we can give them a final total. It is VERY IMPORTANT, that if you know you are coming, please contact the campground asap and reserve your spot. They will hold a certain number of spots for us for those who aren't sure whether they will make it or not, depending on my updates on the tentative number of attendees, but two weeks before the rally, any spots not reserved will be opened to general campers. This is why it's really important that you reserve your spot directly with the campground asap, in addition to having me add you to our list.
The last few years, we asked everyone in attendance to bring photos or an album of their bus conversion, and we had lots of fun looking through those and see the conversions in progress. I'd like to ask everyone to bring those with them again, as there may be new people who haven't seen them yet.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or any suggestions, and I apologize for this long post ;-(. Christy Hicks