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16th Annual Fall Mid-West Toyota RV Rally in Winterset, IA-- October 12-16th. Sites still available!


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This year the 16th Annual Fall Mid-West Toyota RV Rally will take place on the second weekend in October:  Thursday, October 12th through Monday, October 16th.  We will be at the “Bridges of Madison County” Festival in Winterset, Iowa.  We have only a limited number of campsites for this Rally, so if you are interested in reserving a site, we suggest you call us RIGHT AWAY this week to avoid being disappointed.  Call 626-798-4510 -- Leave a message if you get our business voicemail, and we will call you back.  


Tika and Tom, Rally coordinators


Now here is the complete invitation - please study it carefully as it will answer most all of your questions:

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16th Annual Fall Mid-West Toyota RV Rally 
Location:  the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival in Winterset, Iowa, 40 miles southwest of Des Moines.  
Dates:  Thursday, October 12th through Monday, October 16th — four nights.  
Reservations are now being taken; please note that this is not a rally where you can just show up.  


The RV Park where we will be staying is actually part of the Madison County Fairgrounds.  (See the map links below.)  This campground will be full of festival-goers, but their staff is reserving one particular section for our group.  The address is:  Madison County Fairgrounds, 1146 W. Summit Street, Winterset, IA 50273.  GPS coordinates are 41°19'42.1”N; 94°01'38.8"W.   Please don’t post or share this location online without also saying that reservations are required in advance. 


The cost per night for a campsite with electricity is $15 (including tax), plus there is a one-time “rally participation fee” of $8 to cover the costs of putting on the Rally.  Sites have electricity, but not water hook-ups, so fill your fresh water tank before arriving.  There is place close by to fill up too, if you run low.  The RV Park has toilets and showers available.   Free use of the dump station is included. 


PLEASE NOTE:  We each need to bring a HEAVY-DUTY RV EXTENSION CORD and a 30-amp-to-15-amp adapter (RV plug to household plug) to be able to access the power outlets on the electric hook-up posts. This is because the power posts need to be shared by several RVs. 


Now here is the Rally Schedule:


THURSDAY - Oct 12th
Anytime after 3:00p - Arrive at the RV Park and check in with the Rally co-ordinators to be assigned a specific spot


6:00p - We gather for a get-acquainted “Community Meal” in the center of our “circle.”  Bring your own dinner but we’ll all eat together.  If the weather is rainy, we will have the gathering in the “Farmers’ Barn” across the road.  


7:30p - Campfire with s’mores, if enough folks are so inclined.  Please bring some firewood if you can.  Musical instruments are encouraged too!


FRIDAY - Oct 13th

9:30a - 11:30a  -  “Open House” for those that want to tour each other’s RVs to see what folks have done to personalize them.  This usually lasts for a couple hours and is always a highlight of our Rallies.


1:00p - “RV-Pool leaves for town to visit museums:
First is the John Wayne Birthplace Museum (see link below) - $20/adults, $19/seniors, $17/veterans, $10/children 8-12 years, Free/children under 7. 

Then at about 3:30p we will walk to the Iowa Quilt Museum (1/4 mile walk) - Admission is $8/adults, $7/seniors/active military/veterans, $5/students w/ID & children (3-12 yrs). 


5:00p - The “RV-Pool” returns to the RV Park


6:00p - Friday evening will have a true Potluck Dinner at the RV park in the center of our circle.  Bring a dish to share (and your own table service and drink) -- we eat whatever food shows up.   (If the weather is rainy, we will have the potluck in the “Farmer’s Barn” across the road.)


7:30p - “Movie Night” following dinner, showing “The Bridges of Madison County.”  The movie is a moving love story starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep.  (Running time is 2:15.)  Bring your own comfortable lawn chairs.


SATURDAY - Oct 14th

The 2-day Covered Bridge Festival starts  

(See the link below for last year’s schedule.  Please note that similar events and times are anticipated, but not guaranteed.)


Events at the Fairgrounds:  

8:30a - Antique Tractor Parade starts

10:00a - Annual Horseshoe Tournament starts

(If you like, you can enter the contest ahead of time for a $10 fee).


Most of the Festival events are at the Madison County Courthouse Square.  There is a Shuttle Bus that runs to and from the Fairgrounds (continuous loop from 9:00a to 5:00p).  


9:00a - 5:00p -- Visit the Festival
    -- Arts and crafts vendors
    -- Food vendors
    -- Farmer’s Market (located along W. Court Ave) 
    -- Live music and entertainment

(Admission fee at the gates is $3, or 2 for $5, ages 12 and up, and only service animals are permitted.)


10:00a - 3:00p - Covered Bridge School Bus Tours – 2-hour guided tours by Winterset Rotary Club; $15 per person.  

NOTE: We will go as a group on a tour bus at 1:00p for those who reserve and pay for tickets in advance with their Rally Reservation.  


10:00a - 5:00p - “Passport to the Past“ event at the Madison County Historical Complex = museum exhibits with re-enactment activities, including blacksmith demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides around the complex, and historical Bevington Mansion and museum tours. 


4:00p - A Civil War Skirmish takes place on the north lawn of the Madison County Historical Complex. A nighttime Civil War cannon firing takes place at the Historical Complex at 7:15p.   


6:00p - Saturday evening you can eat dinner on your own at the Festival (food booths are scheduled to close up at 5:00p, but there are several restaurants in town.  Alternately, you can come back to join those in the RV park for another bring-your-own-dinner Community Meal; (expect some leftovers from the potluck too).


7:30p - Campfire again if enough folks are so inclined.  Again bring firewood and musical instruments.


SUNDAY - Oct 15th

The Covered Bridge Festival continues all-day until 5:00p.

Catch the Shuttle Bus into town whenever you like.  


8:45a  Those who want to eat breakfast together can met up and go as a group (via the shuttle) to the Pancake Breakfast at the Winterset Fire Station ($8).


8:00a - 3:00p - Madison County Car Show (in town)


3:00p - Covered Bridge Festival PARADE, runs west to east through town.  We have arranged for a location to watch the parade as a group from the front lawn of a local resident who lives on the parade route (courtesy of the local Rotary Club).  The parade lasts about an hour.   If you want to bring your lawn chairs to town for the parade, you can set them up in the morning and safely leave them at the viewing location (SW corner of 4th St, and Court St.) until parade time.  


6:00p - Our group will convene for a Unique Private Dinner Event at Eaton’s Bistro.  They are providing a special dinner menu for us including Rib-Eye Steak with Baked Potato, or Salmon with Spinach and Mushrooms.  Additional entrees, salads, and lighter fare will also be available.  This place is moderately priced for a nice restaurant meal ($10-$24).  Casual attire is fine.  (See the link with photos below.)


8:30p - Campfire again if enough folks are so inclined. 


MONDAY - Oct 16th

9:00a -10:30a  - “How-to" Session about Toyota RVs for anyone (new to RVing or otherwise), to answer questions about RV operation or maintenance or anything else.  Especially if you have been RVing for a while, please come to share your expertise with others. 


11:00a - Pack up to check out; visit the on-site dump station by noon if needed.


12:00p - We will line up our RVs after check-out to drive in a caravan to downtown to the Montross Pharmacy for a group lunch in their old-fashioned cafe with soda fountain.  (Click the link below for photos.)  We’ll order and pay separately for our food.  After lunch we’ll say our good-byes until next year. 


2:00p - 5:00p  For those who still wish to stay a bit longer, we can go shopping for a while at several antique stores in town. 
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If all of this sounds like lots of fun, please call us (not the RV Park) to say you are interested and want to be put on the list of attendees.  Then send us a payment (PayPal, Zelle, or check) for the rally fee and the number of nights you will be camping with us.  (We will give you the payment address when you call to reserve.)  We will be collecting payments in advance from everyone, and then paying for our group all at once.  If you want a ticket for the Bus Tour of the Covered Bridges at 1:00p Saturday, please include $15 per person for that too.


The total payment for 4 nights of camping with electric hook-up (and water nearby) is $68, including the rally participation fee.  Subtract $15 if you want to leave on Sunday or arrive one day late (= $53 total).  


Cancellation Policy:  Refunds are available if another Toyota RVer takes over your campsite after you cancel.


As usual we expect about twelve Toyota RVs.  We can only take that number of RVs and that’s it.   (If you wait to call until after we are full up, you will be put on a waiting list for last-minute cancellations.)


If you are new to Toyota RV Rallies, don't be shy — we always have some first-time attendees.  Please call us directly (not the RV Park) to have your questions answered.


It's gonna be fun!


Tika and Tom (Rally co-ordinators)


Please leave a message if you get our business voicemail (health center) and we will call you back.


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Now for the links section:


Google Maps of the RV Park:


1) Campground Location:  From Interstate 80, exit Highway 169 South to Winterset.  The campground is on the southwest side of town. 


2) Closer satellite view.  We will be camping on the south side of the RV Park, on the grass section where there are electric hook-up poles.  (Zoom image to see them.)



Here is a link to two articles written about the Festival in recent years that are worth reading.  (Keep scrolling down to find the second one about the town of Winterset amidst multiple other articles.)



Covered Bridge Festival Home Page:



Festival Schedule of Events for 2023: 
Festival Schedule 2023


John Wayne Birthplace Museum:

John Wayne Birthplace & Museum


Iowa Quilt Museum:

Home | Iowa Quilt Museum | Winterset, Iowa

Easton’s Bistro Restaurant (a Salmon dinner is one of the ones pictured):


Montross Pharmacy Cafe/ Soda Fountain photos:


Now please PRINT this invitation if you can, or bookmark it for easy access, so that you can have the Rally Schedule and these directions with you when you come!


See you soon!




Madison County Covered Bridge Festival




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  • 1 month later...

Hi Tika,


Just wondering how the event went, and if anyone took pictures of what sounds like a fun way to meet others and learn the various ways people have kept these unique beasts on the road?  Thanks in advance.

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