The Illinois Indians State Rally was held on June 20th-24th at the Iroquois County Fairgrounds, Crescent City, IL. Along with celebrating 60 years of WIT, we became an official ambassador for Illinois Bicentennial Celebration. We had 22 coaches in attendance. We welcome our Central Area Representatives, Butch and Val Peters, John & Sylvia McLaughlin-SkyMed, John & Laurie Latham-Kitchen Craft and first timers-Mr. & Mrs. William Burns. I know by the time you read this we will have forgotten about our hot & humid summer, but when the officers arrived earlier in the week, we were having high 90’s and very humid. Thank goodness by Wednesday, after a few storms, the weather was a little cooler so we were able to enjoy sitting out under the shade trees. The opening ceremony on Wednesday started our Rally. It has been a tradition that the younger generation that comes with their grandparents participate in the carrying of the flags to start off our rally. Afterwards the state officers grilled hamburgers, pork burgers, and brats for our dinner and everyone else joined in with a side dish. An added bonus this year was homemade ice cream. Thursday was to start with a golf outing, but the rains changed that so the golfers and everyone else went to the Iroquois County Historical Museum which also was celebrating the "Illinois Bicentennial, Iroquois County Style". Afterwards, our group went to Monical’s Pizza for lunch. Back at the campground, a craft project, Dragon Fly Door Decoration, was offered by Linda Burlison. Dinner was on our own, followed by the Winnebago RV Insurance ice cream social and Card Bingo.
Every year at our Rally, a group goes into the Watseka Area Food Pantry to help stock shelves or whatever needs to be done. At our outings and rally we always offer our attendees to donate items to the pantry. This year due to a conflict we were unable to work, but we have scheduled work day at our fall outing in September. Like all food pantries, they are always in need of donations whether nonperishable items or monetary gifts and are very grateful for our donations. The kids craft this year was making "Glow in the Dark Slime" and believe it or not it worked. Also a few tried flying kites later on. Seminar in the afternoon by our Central Representatives, cooking demonstration by Kitchen Craft, and after a short board meeting, we headed back to Watseka to spend an evening at the Watseka Theatre. This couple have refurbished the old theatre into a performing arts stage and also show old movies. Our evening started with dinner with music followed by a brief history of the theatre. The movie for the night was very appropriate for a camping club. The movie was "The Long, Long Trailer" made in 1954 starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. It is a comedy and some of the things that happen back then on their adventurer everyone could relate to in some way today. A very enjoyable evening. Saturday started off with a delicious breakfast made by Fox Valley, followed by the WIT Store. Kitchen Craft held another cooking demonstration followed by games for children and adults. Also, our representatives held an open house for everyone to see their motorhome. After our general meeting, SkyMed held a wine and cheese event for prospective members and members that are enrolled in SkyMed. Our evening meal was catered by a local grocery store, which everyone enjoyed. Door prizes were given out and selling of raffle tickets were being done before we settled down to enjoyed our evening entertainment. Bill Harper from Murphysboro, IL performed for us some of his songs he has written as well as songs from the past. The younger ones enjoyed s’mores by the fire to finish out our evening. The next morning everyone gathered to enjoy coffee and donuts, sharing our next adventurers and saying our good-byes until we meet again on September 20th-23rd. Safe travels everyone.
By Chris Crabtree