Symco or Bust: Our First Shasta Trip

This was a long time coming, friends.  We finally got our 1972 Shasta out on the road.  And we picked one heck of an event to debut her at!  Symco Weekender is in the small, unincorporated town of Symco, Wisconsin.  It's a weekend of hotrods and rockabilly music that takes place on the Union Thresheree grounds-- an amazing walk through history.  


Symco was formally known as Union.  A local family, along with the Union Thresherman's Club began moving buildings to the grounds in an effort to preserve history, naming the little town Unionville.  Buildings having been moved here from all over Waupaca County, to create a picturesque little town.  There's more here than what I took pictures of-- I truly don't do it justice!  I so wish I had gotten a picture of the general store, but I was too busy buying candy from the adjacent candy store (my poison of choice: PopRocks, candy necklaces, and multiple boxes of candy cigarettes-- I just love the chalky minty flavor of those, they're my favorite!).  


Each building is filled with antiques, authentic displays, and small (and sometimes big) pieces of the local history.  There's a school, church, post office, blacksmith, fire department, barns, print shop, bank, shoe repair shop, and of course, a saloon!


The Unionville Saloon was formally the Union town hall, and was built in 1896!  Today it's an awesome place to grab a $1 cup of PBR and munch on popcorn.  


During Symco Weekender, classic cars litter the street.  All my pictures are from Thursday-- a preparty to actual event.  On Friday and Saturday, these streets were JAMMED with people, food vendors, and an amazing swap meet! 


This awesome bridge was moved here from highway 22, and overlooks the sawmill.  These grounds were such a cool place to host this event-- it takes a normal car show and gives it remarkable charm.  

Of course, we aren't car people . . . we're camper people, ha!  There were multiple camping locations (I heard a rumor that there were over a thousand camping spots sold!), but the place to be was in vintage camping.  Vintage camping is located right in the show grounds, along the Little Wolf River.  It's part of the show, and people would walk through and marvel at the old-time campers.  There were only about a hundred vintage camping spots available, and they went fast.  You get priority if you went last year, and then they opened it up to newbies at the end of March.  I was up at 4 am that morning with the baby, and I snagged a spot then . . . a few hours later, they were all gone (finally, a single reason to be happy about having to wake up ridiculously early with a baby).  Vintage campers were required to be from 1970 or earlier, unless you got approved to be there (which I was, since ours is actually a 1972 . . . but it's essentially the same as the late 60s models).  


One of my favorite questions we were asked, as people checked out our Shasta, was, "So what did you tow it with?"  They're expecting a super cool answer (it is a classic car show, afterall!).  And my answer: a 2010 Grand Caravan.  Ha!  The van was relegated to spectator parking-- only cars that met the show criteria were allowed in vintage camping.  But wow, being there made Mike and I dream about a sweet tow vehicle for the Shasta! 


I spent the day in rollers on Thursday, to have show-worthy hair on Friday!  Lots of people got decked out in their vintage and rockabilly outfits (like yours truly), which makes it so much more fun in my opinion!


The boys camped with us on Thursday night, and then headed to my parents' so Mike and I could have a kid-free weekend.  Overall, it's a kid-friendly event, but as far as camping there and staying up late jamming to the full, amazing music line-up goes, it was so much better to not have the kids along.  


Mike: "Stop buying coolers and water jugs."
Me: "Never."


People in vintage camping decked their sites out! Lights, bikes, coolers, chairs, everything was classic!  It was so fun just walking through the area and seeing everyone's sites.  

And everyone was so stinking nice.  Vintage camper people are my kind of people.  Mike and I loved chatting with everyone.  It truly felt like the end of summer camp when we left, hugging my new friends goodbye, and saying, "see you next year!"  


My vintage camping skirt was an absolute hit! 


I got stopped many a time for pictures of that skirt, ha!  Dressing up was half the fun for me.  I even participated in my first pin-up contest (you can read all about that here).  


Poor Mike had to deal with a lot of picture taking, haha!  And yet, I somehow didn't get enough pictures!  The dance hall played rockabilly all night long, there was an awesome sideshow by Strange for Hire, and the swap meet was fantastic-- all of which I have no pictures of!


It was an absolutely amazing weekend.  It was quite the drive for our first time camping with the Shasta (especially when Mike was stopping every 20 miles to check the bearings).  I know when we first signed up the for event, Mike was nervous about showing the Shasta off-- we love our finished product, but Mike was worried about being judged by the purists and professional camper renovators.  But it wasn't like that at all! Vintage camping was filled with campers on all end of the spectrum-- from the completely gutted work-in-progress to the newly finished products.  People were so nice and we got so many compliments on our renovation.  We were surrounded by people who understood having a project camper and the years (yes, years, plural!) of work that go into it.  I kept saying to Mike, "these are our people!" ha!  

And I even survived the weekend without getting run over by a mini-bike ;) 


Molly (aka Shirley Shasta) 

P.S. For all the Shasta renovation information check out this and this.

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