Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, May 23, 2020

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The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for late-breaking news for RV travelers. Information is believed current at press time but conditions change quickly. Check ahead by phone directly with the campground. Don’t rely on websites or Facebook. Get specifics about rates, campground facilities, reservation policies, campsite specifications and the condition of access roads. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.

FULL ALERT: The schedules of openings, partial openings, re-closings and cancellations is in flux at this time, so we make no attempt to report them. They are determined by state, county and city authorities and may apply differently to private and public campgrounds. Rules and facilities are still a crazy quilt of open campgrounds with closed facilities, canceled events, required reservations, QR code entries only and much more. Check ahead to see details.

DATELINE: May 23, 2020

ARKANSAS STATE PARK HAS ROYAL WELCOME
Camp at Queen Wilhelmina State Park (self-contained rigs only at this time) for Mena’s annual Queen Wilhelmina Rod Run August 28 and 29. Top hot rodders come from all over the country to show off their rides, race up the mountain, tour scenic roads, dance the street dance, compete for prizes. Enjoy the beautiful Ouachita Mountains, fish lakes and streams, hike trails and shop the mountain markets. The story goes back to the 1890s, when Dutch investors built a railroad through there and added a grand Victorian lodge on the mountaintop to house passengers. The name of the then-queen of the Netherlands is cherished there still today.

FLORIDA CAMPGROUND GROWS AND GROWS
Wildwood RV Village Park, formerly a KOA, has been approved for the addition of 289 camp sites on 34 acres. That’s in addition to the 210 sites now under construction on the 15-acre site and an existing 300 sites. The full-service RV resort has a heated swimming pool, free internet and cable, a laundry and social programs. Rates are $44 to $79 nightly. Wildwood, where I-75 and the Florida Turnpike meet, is the gateway to Central Florida.

ILLINOIS CONCERT STARS COUNTRY MUSIC LEGEND
Tracy Byrd, known for such hist as “Holdin’ Heaven” and “The First Step,” will be on stage in the Grandstand of the Fairgrounds at the Marshall-Putnam County Fairgrounds in Henry on July 16. The single performance begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 5:30. Most campsites have electric and must be applied for in advance. There are separate applications for camping during the county fair and during other events. Find application forms at putnamcountyfair.org  The county fair is scheduled for July 15-19.

KENTUCKY CAMPGROUND HAS YARD SALE
Come to shop or sell at the yard sale at Fort Boonesborough State Park, Richmond, on July 10. Sell right from your campsite for an additional $10 charge. Camp on the Kentucky River in one of 166 sites, 18 of them with full hookups and the others with electric and water. There are two restroom centers, three dump stations, an activities building, laundry and a small grocery at the check-in area. Wi-Fi is available. Call (859) 527-3454.

LOUISIANA SINGS THE BLUES
RV campsites for the Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival, to be held September 25-26, have 30- and 50-amp electric and water hookups. No pets allowed. Enter as early as Friday morning and even on Thursday by request. Vacate the site by 5 p.m. Sunday. The RV package includes festival tickets, which are required to camp. Details are still being finalized, so sign up to get on the mail list.

NEBRASKA’S NEWEST CAMPGROUND OPENS
The grand opening is here but the Grand Opening celebration has to wait until later in the season. The all-new Ashland RV Campground has 31 paved RV sites, 30- and 50-amp power, water hookups, a dump station and a laundry. Showers are private and lockable. It’s just a short walk from Ashland shopping and restaurants. Fishing, disc golf and trails for hiking and biking are nearby.

NORTH CAROLINA HAS FIDDLING WITH CAMPING
The Ashe County Bluegrass & Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Jefferson, scheduled for July 23-25, features an Appalachian barn dance on Friday night, jams led by professionals, and youth and adult musician, band and dance competitions on Saturday with cash prizes in the adult categories. There’s also a luthiers’ tent, crafters’ row, barbecue and more. The alcohol-free event benefits the Ashe County JAM program. Camping with electric is limited for $15. It opens at 4 p..m. Thursday. Dry camping is $10. Admission to the event is $15 for two days. Children under 12 free with paying adult.

SOUTH DAKOTA READIES THE ONE AND ONLY STURGIS RALLY
It’s already late to get reservations for the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally scheduled for  August 7-16, and it won’t be decided until June 15 if it’s a go or not. In the meantime, go to blackhillsbadlands.com for the overall view, then plan your trip to the music, motorcycle and meet-up of the year, in case it does occur this summer. Bring your ride or just come for the festival atmosphere and roaring good races, parties, vendors, swap meets, performances and round-the-clock.

TENNESSEE CAMPGROUND ADDS MAYHEM
The kids will love the thrilling new Mega Mayhem water slide at Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort on Percy Priest Lake. It’s the tallest, baddest water slide in the state. The two-in-one rafting water slide attraction has a tornado tunnel, a six-story platform and a four-story wall. For RV site reservations and inquiries call (615) 889-7434

Stay Tuned
Scheduled to open in 2021 is the Gull Lake RV Resort on the west side of Gull Lake in Alberta, near Sandy Point Resort. The 290-site seasonal campground will have full hook-ups. The first phase (of four) to open will have 34 sites. Lots will be leased for occupancy May 1 to September 30. No year-round camping will be allowed.

Janet Groene is the author of more than 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Amazon.com. Her brand-new Farley Halladay book, “April Avenger, a Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at Amazon.com. See Janet Groene’s weekly Solo Woman posts at SoloWomanRV.

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