The best way to describe this three-day show is being a smaller-scale Camp 'N' Drag of the North … but with a healthy dose of old school vans, vanners, and van clubs. The comparison isn't meant to take anything away from the event, since it has been going strong for the last 18 years, but for any Americans who have heard of the show and have not gathered up the required documents and drive to make the trek, it's the easiest way to describe what to expect.
Of course, there is camping, actually there really isn't much around the surrounding area but rural farmland, cruising, campfires, and a population of show goers that naturally divide themselves into two different camping areas at the show depending on if you're a trucker or a vanner. There are no traces of hostility—it's just how it is, and probably how it always has been.
The really cool thing about Vanfest is that the staff, lead by Colonel Kevin Lundy, choses a theme for the weekend—they happened to land on M*A*S*H (a '70s TV show about the Korean War) this year. The older crowd who actually watched the show probably dressed up as their favorite characters from the sitcom, while us “youngsters” who may have not picked up on the references wore generalized army attire—drab greens and camo. It felt a little like celebrating Halloween in June. It was awesome. It's the small things like this that give a unique, home-like feel to this show—a show unlike any other as far as vehicular eye candy and welcoming people are concerned. Putt on up next year!
Springwater Conservation Area, Alymer, Ontario, Canada
June 7-9, 2013
Alymer Tire Craft, California Carsmetics, Scott Lewis Auto