Thursday, January 18, 2018
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20180111 RV Show Crowd1While many of our Winter Texan visitors have been settled into their seasonal homes for a month or more, some have just arrived, after waiting for the hustle and bustle of the holidays to calm. Others are looking for a new place to call home, especially if their lives were affected by the hurricanes in Florida and Texas.

No matter the case, the 2018 All Valley RV and Outdoors is a one-stop shop for needs (and wants)– from finding a home, to adding on accessories or just for looking at the latest models available. The 38th annual event will take place at the Mercedes Livestock Showgrounds Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 11-13. The show is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days. Admission is $5.

“People will find just about everything they need for their RVs – accessories, products to wash them with, add-ons and the latest models,” said Salome Welliver, director of the show and president of the RGV Chapter of Texas Recreational Vehicle Association. “Especially important this year is the fact so many people were displaced because of the hurricanes in the Rockport area in Texas, and the ones in Florida. This is an event where they can find almost anything they still need.”

Welliver said attendance was up by more than 1,000 people last year and she is expecting more than 5,500 to show up this year. Each person with paid attendance will also be entered into a raffle to win a seven night stay at the Los Cabos Golf Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The show is adding entertainment this year as well with J. Michael Laferty and Chris Marshal in the climate-controlled building on the showgrounds. There will be concessions and other vendors as well.

New Sun Racing will also be on hand, letting visitors race some remote-controlled race cars. Attendees are encouraged to bring their RC vehicles as well. Not only will there be opportunities to run their cars on a track at the show, but there will be races throughout each day.

“RC racing has exploded in popularity the past few years among the Winter Texans,” Welliver said. “People will be able to sign up to race. It has become a very exciting and serious hobby for many Winter Texans lately.”

The show now includes several vendors having to do with outdoor sports and recreation.

More than 50 vendors will be in attendance to provide attendees with whatever they may need regarding their RVs. There will also be an RV driving school and a small section will be set up like a campground to “give people a different, as close to life, experience,” Welliver said. “There are so many new things here that people will want to see.”

Of course, there will be trailers, RVs and fifth wheelers on display, ranging from small to large and from lower-cost to luxury units. There will be Class A, B and C motorhomes for attendees to go through and check out all the features.

“People are always interested in seeing what's new and what's different. Some of these vehicles and homes will be there with all the slideouts,” Welliver said. “What's amazing is that some of these are like apartments; there are some even with two bedrooms today. There are so many new and innovative things out there.”

Welliver said there will be “quite a few” parks in attendance, promoting their availability, their list of activities and, in essence, recruiting new Winter Texans as well as those who may be looking for something different from what their current park offers.

“There's an influx of Winter Texans still coming – January, February and March are the real big months,” Welliver said. “There's also a new age group of Winter Texans coming and it's exciting because they bring different ideas and things they want to do – like the RC racing. Our show is set up for the Winter Texans who are already living here as well as for the new ones who are searching for either a new place because they were hit by a hurricane or that they are now retiring and searching for a place that will fit their living needs.”

The Rio Grande Valley Livestock Showgrounds are located at 1000 N Texas Ave. in Mercedes. For more information call Welliver at (816) 447-6092.

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