The Thaw is a Van event hosted by my group, The PennsylVANia Van Council, Inc. We have been hosting van runs as a group for almost 20 years. We held Summerset for 17 years and now The Thaw for the past 2 years. Spring Thaw was an event that my club, Susquehanna Valley Vans hosted for 30 years until we decided to hang up the event plaque. Three years later we decided to resurrect the event and call it The Thaw. Another club had hosted an event for 2 years until we took over with their blessings. Just when I got out, they dragged me back in but I enjoy it. We as a group had also hosted the 24th Van Nationals in 1996. We have been doing this a long time.
Vans actually started pulling in on Thursday even though the event did not officially start until Friday. We always have early arrivals who like to get the best spots. I set up under the pavilion with all of the CRO/Gold Eagle/303® literature and products. We stuffed goodie bags and placed a lot of information and samples in them from Gold Eagle and Cool Rides. I had banners hung up at the gate as well as under the pavilion. On Friday the vans began to roll in and register. Many handshakes and hugs all around as many of us have not seen each other since last fall. In retrospect we are all family and our events are like family reunions. Friday night everyone gathered at the stage to enjoy the music of a band called Three Hour Tour. They rocked us until midnight. Darn noise curfews.
On Saturday it was time for the van show. We had approximately 20 vans and trucks in the van show. A very nice selection of some of the crème de la crème. Unfortunately, there were a lot of vans who did not come out of camp to show their vans or we would have doubled that number easily. There were some beautifully done vans both inside and out. A van called Alice owned by Diana and Mike Masters from New York is a work in progress and features some beautiful murals on the exterior depicting Alice In Wonderland. The interior takes on the same touches with custom books and door panels.
A beautiful Ford van which was debuted at our event called White Knight was unbelievable. The van is owned by Jim Fry and Donna Hart of PennsylVANia. The full wrap mural on it was top notch depicting Knights on horseback, jousting, castles, etc. Pictures do not do this van justice. The interior is done up like a medieval castle with stone work, fireplace, wood panels, stain glass, etc. Needless to say this van was the winner of not only its class but “Best Mural” as well as “Best of Show”. This was well deserved in my opinion.
I also presented the Cool Rides Online Sponsors Choice Award which went to a 1960 Ford F-100 Panel Truck 4×4 named Puzzled and owned by “Big Bob” Tierney from New Jersey. The detail to the interior and engine are superb. The stereo system also kicks big time. Bob is a very dedicated “vanner” and very supportive of all clubs and club functions. This was a well-deserved award and I felt honored to present it to him. Our youngest vanner award went to Brayden Johnson who was 1 year and 7 months. Our oldest vanner award went to Ron MacCasland who was 78 years young.
There were also all kinds of games for the young and young at heart. Saturday night’s band was Old School which rocked everyone until close to midnight with a nice mix of classics. We also had a sound off and night light show. This is always a nice touch to cap off the weekend for all the lights that everyone places on their vans and trucks really are best seen at night.
Sunday morning came all too soon and it was time to say good bye to everyone and clean up. All in all we had about 100 vans and trucks through the gates including host club. People got up and around early so they could get on the road and home at a decent hour. We all were tired ourselves from making sure everyone was taken care of and happy. We accomplished that goal. It was bittersweet to leave and say goodbye to everyone but we will all be together at the next run. So as they say, TIETIS. Which means, Truck It Easy, Truck It Safe.
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