We recently had the pleasure of attending the 2017 Virginia State Parks Rooftop Tent Rally at The James River State Park, just north of Gladstone, Va. The event was put on by Virginia State Parks, Blue Ridge Overland Gear and Mountain State Overland. There was a vendor area and a large open field for camping. The vendors included Blue Ridge Overland Gear, Mountain State Overland, Rove Rentals, Overland Gear Exchange, Freespirit Recreation and Tepui. Classes on Route planning and Basic Overland safety and preparation were held in the pavilion and provided by East Coast Overland Adventures.
Saturday evening there was a live band playing country, classic rock and bluegrass music in the camping area. Large bonfires were erected and supervised by the Park staff and local Fire dept. After the band finished up, Mountain State Overland set up their portable screen and projector and treated everyone to their latest episodes.
Jennifer and I spent the majority of the weekend in the Freespirit Recreation booth talking shop with the people stopping by. We did manage to get away several times though and made our way through the Campgrounds to meet fellow Overlanders and their families. We were fortunate to meet so many great people and got to hear about their experiences.
Sunday was the last day of the event and the day everyone was waiting for. Not because they were ready to go home, but instead, they were anticipating the raffle and giveaways! The James River State Park, Rove Renals, Tepui and Mountain State Overland kicked it off by raffling off some cool swag and gift certificates. Blue Ridge Overland Gear threw in one of their awesome Fluid/Oil storage bags and East Coast Overland Adventures donated a copy of their "No highways Tour" book. Rodney and Dona of "Overland Medic" donated a set of Ridgid off-road lights. Freespirit Recreation donated a camp ReadyLight and Overland Gear Exchange capped off the door prizes with a free one night stay in their new Conquer off-road trailer! It was pretty cool to see people winning these door prizes just for showing up and camping for the event! After all of the door prizes were handed out, the grand prize was raffled off. All of the proceeds for the raffle tickets would be going to the Friends of the James River Foundation and will be put directly back into the park. Something we can totally get behind! As for the Grand Prize.... It was a brand new tent donated by Tepui! Imagine that! A $10 raffle ticket wins a brand new tent! What an event! Can't wait for next year!!