Mar/Apr
2013

Creation and Recreation

Written by Penny Marshall
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Cumulus Radio’s Home, Vacation and RV Show celebrates 50 years

Forget wallowing in the whine of winter. Round up family and friends, and celebrate the 50th Annual Cumulus Radio Home, Vacation and RV Show, featuring vendors with products and services for home and vacationing, including RVs, at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds, March 15–17.

 

Built to last

Originally called the Family Home Fair, this annual event was first sponsored by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce and was held at the Mayo Civic Center Auditorium. Back then, air conditioning was new to the market, and heating, refrigerators, freezers and tires were the exhibit hot spots. Entertainment was also a big part of the gathering. A talent stage welcomed acts like Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats (seen on the Ed Sullivan Show), as well as a local talent competition with cash prizes.

“I won $50 playing my musical saw in the talent show,” recalls Harley Flathers, former KROC Radio announcer, about the 1954 Home Fair. That year, 11,000 people attended the fair—entitled “100 Years of Progress” to commemorate Rochester’s centennial—and 1,000 were turned away on the night of the talent show finals because the venue was full.

“In 1963, KROC Radio took over the show and rebranded it as ‘The Home, Vacation and Farm Show,’” says Terry Lee, Cumulus Radio General Sales Manager. “It then became the ‘Home and Vacation Show’ and has since changed to what it is today: ‘Cumulus Radio's Home, Vacation and RV Show.’”

As the number of exhibitors increased over the years, the event relocated in the late ‘70s to Graham Arena at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds.

“We continue the tradition because it’s a good way for us to connect with Rochester and the surrounding area,” says Lee. “It’s actually the longest running show of its kind in the area, one of the largest indoor RV displays with one entire arena filled mostly with RVs, boats and golf carts. There really is something for everyone.”

Nuts and bolts

Most homeowners have an ongoing home improvement “to-do” list; this show is a great place to coordinate ideas and materials. It features—under one roof—the latest trends in design and products and offers one-stop access to experts in roofing, lawn care, kitchen design, gardening, landscaping, home organization, sewing, insulation, gutters, siding, general remodeling and even health.

If you’ve got a particular project in mind, jot down pertinent measurements and details, and bring them with you. They may come in handy when considering various materials and options that vendors have on display.

Rest, relaxation and fun

Once you’re done with your creation, you’ll probably be ready for some recreation. Whether your summer vacation plans take you across the country or to a nearby golf course or resort, vendors and experts in travel, camping/RVs, boating and leisure can inspire and assist you with information and a host of products from golf carts to pontoons.

50th Annual Cumulus Radio Home, Vacation and RV Show
Olmsted County Fairgrounds, Graham Arenas 1 and 2
March 15–17

Fri., March 15, 3–9pm
Sat., March 16, 10am–7pm
Sun., March 17, 11am–4pm

Visit over 100 vendors and three RV dealers featuring the latest in services and wares for remodeling, decorating, health, home improvement, vacation and travel. Free admission and parking.