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Port Crescent State Park hosts Vintage Camper Show

Vintage travel-trailer enthusiasts are bringing the glory days of “trailering” to Port Crescent State Park in Huron County. The romance of the open road is coming to the tip of Michigan’s “Thumb.” Port Crescent State Park will host its Fifth Annual Vintage Camper Show from Thursday – Sunday, July 25 – 28.

This year’s event will be the largest yet, with close to 85 vintage trailers expected. On Saturday, July 27, the trailers and classic tow vehicles will be open to the public. Visitors can come see campers that have been restored or are in the process of being restored, motorhomes and pop-up trailers, as they take a walk through history. Many classic and iconic designs will be represented with real wood interiors, funky fiberglass exteriors and period furnishings.

The big RVs often seen on Michigan highways have a venerable heritage of trailer travel in the United States, and the Tin Can Tourists are keeping the tradition alive. The original Tin Canners blossomed about 1920, in the early days of auto travel from the north to Florida. The group took its name from the campers’ bring-along tin-can cuisine. Members sometimes fastened empty cans to the front of their Tin Lizzies to announce themselves to kindred spirits.

Members travel with rigs that include brands such as Shasta, Scotty, Airstream, Argosy, Helite, Travco, Newell, Yellowstone, Fan and Teardrop. Some very rare or unusual models will be shown during this year’s open house, including a 1949 American, full of polished wood and Art Deco curves. Forrest Bone, a retired high school teacher who now splits his time between Florida and Michigan, renewed the Tin Can Tourists in 1998 as a rallying group for fans of antique travel trailers. Owners and fans of vintage travel trailers are invited to join the group, which is sponsoring the event at Port Crescent State Park.

Campers participating in this show will open up their vintage trailers for tours on Saturday, July 27 from 12-4 p.m. Other activities planned for this weekend are open to all campers, including a potluck and a dance with music provided by a local D.J.

Port Crescent State Park is located at 1775 Port Austin Road in Port Austin. For more information about this event, the park, accessibility or those needing accommodations to attend this event, contact Park Supervisor Betsy Kish at 989-738-8663 (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired), or visit www.michigan.gov/portcrescent.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can experience real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($30.50 annual; $8.40 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport. For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.

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