Lido Mangrove Kayak Tour

Sports and recreation fans will love the activities on the Alumflamingo program this year, and anyone who loves natural beauty (who doesn’t?) will flip for this kayak eco tour through the Lido Mangrove Tunnels.

During this two-plus hour kayak adventure, you’ll paddle through exotic mangrove overgrowth, explore Sarasota Bay, and encounter amazing wildlife up close along the way.

The fully guided tour includes on-water basic paddle instruction—all skill levels welcome—before setting out with an informed guide who will share information about the mangrove ecosystem.

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins frequently swim and play among the passing kayakers, and you might see a West indian Manatee as well if the waters are warm enough. These 1000-pound “gentle giants” are curious and friendly—don’t be surprised if one approaches your kayak for a quick pat on the head! (Sorry, no man-eating alligators will make an appearance.)

Birders, you’ll want to sign up for this tour! Kayaking is a quiet sport that allows you to approach tropical birds in their natural habitat along the waterway. Depending on the time of year, you’ll tick ospreys, egrets, cormorants, pelicans, a variety of herons, and other species. (Bring your camera, but zip it into a waterproof baggie.)

You’ll also see beautiful living shells in the protected waterways, including the state shell of Florida, the Horse Conch. The water is shallow (and usually very clear)—optimum conditions for viewing sealife.

What an awesome Alumaflamingo outing! Sign up at the registration desk when you arrive.

View a video of this beautiful paddle trip here.



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Building homes, building hope

Habitat LuciusWant to give back to the local Sarasota community during Alumaflamingo? Join Airstreamer Lucius Herrmann on a half-day volunteer outing to a Habitat for Humanity homebuild site.

“You’ll help a deserving family in need buy a decent, affordable home by providing volunteer labor to build a house,” Herrmann explained. “My wife and I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and support our Atlanta, Georgia affiliate. We work in the warehouse periodically, as well as at job sites to build houses. In addition, when we travel in our Airstream we volunteer with the Habitat for Humanity RV Care-A-Vanners to build houses around the country.”

Worldwide, some 827.6 million people live in urban slums; Habitat for Humanity volunteers are working to reduce that number, one home at a time. “Decent, stable housing provides more than just a roof over someone’s head,” states the Habitat for Humanity website. An adequate home means “stability for families and children; health, physical safety, and security; a sense of dignity and pride; and an increase of educational and job prospects.” Last year, Habitat for Humanity served 124,946 families around the world by providing homes to those in need through volunteer labor and donations.

“We really enjoy working with Habitat,” said Herrmann. “It allows us to help build housing, meet RVers, and see the United States. We refer to the experience as ‘travel with a purpose.’”

Sign up early for this rewarding, hands-on outing at the Alumaflamingo registration table, as space is limited. Participants must be at least 18 years old (or age 16 or older with a parent). All tools will be provided, and closed-toed shoes are required.

Learn more about the Care-A-Vanners at their webpage, and visit the Habitat for Humanity Sarasota & ReStores on Facebook.

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It’s big. It’s fun. It’s back!


The time is now to plan bring your rig to the second annual Alumaflamingo, returning to Sarasota, Florida in February (exactly when you need some sun) at the fairgrounds (just five miles from the white sandy beaches).

Like the quote about the duck, things look calm on the surface but we’re paddling like heck to put together an amazing program for 2015 including new tours, new outdoor activities, and new educational Airstream seminars.

Fan favorite Antsy McClain and The Trailer Park Troubadours will perform, but don’t be intimidated—plan to display your own talent (or “talent”) during the infamous Aluminum Gong Show.

Last year there were more than 250 Airstreams at Alumafandango! Vintage owners, register for the special vintage parking area.

Maximize your savings by planning ahead: Sign up before December 31, 2014 and save up to $30. (Prices for campsites and each adult increase on New Year’s Day, 2015.)

Pass this post to your camping friends and invite them to meet you in sunny Sarasota this winter! All brands of RV are welcome at Alumaflamingo.


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Alumaflamingo registration is now open!


It’s not too early to circle the date on your calendar and look forward to a week of Airstream fun in sunny Sarasota.

Plan now to join us in Florida in February (2/24—3/1, 2015) and save some bucks! Register before January 1 and get $30 discount.

(Jump to this link for price details.)

All Aluma-events are different from year to year, and we’re already planning exciting new seminars and activities for the 2015 program. (Thanks to everyone who completed the post-event survey after our first-ever Alumaflamingo this year. Your comments matter!)

Sign up for Alumaflamingo today, and don’t delay registering even if you think you might not be able to come. You can’t lose: If you cancel anytime before the event begins, we can transfer your fees to any one of our other events (Alumafiesta, Alumapalooza, Alumafandango) being held within 11 months of Alumaflamingo.)

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Alumaflamingo 2015

The first-ever Alumaflamingo was a hit, and plans have already begun for next year!

Save the dates: Alumaflamingo will be held again at the Sarasota Fairgrounds in sunny Florida, February 24 through March 1, 2015.

Registration opens soon; keep an eye on this site and on the Alumaflamingo Facebook page, too. (Drop by Facebook to see photos, videos and media coverage of some of the fun we had in Florida!)

Dates are set for our other upcoming Aluma-events, and we’d love to see you there. Tell your friends! (Remember, our events are not just for Airstream owners; the activity-packed schedules offer something for everyone.)

Alumapalooza, returning to the Airstream factory in Jackson Center Ohio for the fifth year in a row. Sign up soon!

May 27 – June 1, 2014.

Alumafandango, at Seven Feathers RV Resort in Canyonville, Oregon:

September 2-7, 2014

Alumafiesta, at Tucson/Lazydays KOA in Tucson, Arizona:

January 27 – February 1, 2015

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Recipes from Eleanor’s cooking demonstration

Did you enjoy the cooking demonstration at Alumafiesta?  We’ve got the recipes for the entire six-course meal here, by popular request.  Click here to download the Alumafiesta recipes to your computer.

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Pre-event instructions for attendees of Alumaflamingo

Are you registered for Alumaflamingo 2014?  Then you’ll want to start packing up the Airstream for a warm week in Sarasota!

We’ve got lots of special events and activities planned for the week, so there are a few things we’d like to remind you to bring. It’s all in this document:  Pre-Event Instructions Flamingo 2014.  Please click on the title and read the handy tips it contains.

Safe travels to all of you.  We’ll see you in Florida soon.

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Guidelines for the chili cook off contest

Dust off that secret recipe and lets make some chili!

1. Your chili must be made solely within the confines of an actual Airstream galley, while you’re AT Alumaflamingo.

2. Only raw materials and ingredients may be brought to the event. (Please buy as much as you can while in the city of Sarasota, to support our local host community!)

No made-ahead prep work or precooked chili will be accepted as an entry; all chili is to be fashioned from scratch by the contestant, and made on location in the contestant’s own Airstream.

“The broad wide world known as “Chili” is beyond the scope of this competition and thus only One Class of Chili shall be vetted,” explained Alex, contest wrangler. “All manners and styles are acceptable, as long as at least two quarts are prepared, and entered. Any and all varieties are permissible and any accoutrements in order to help the Jury arrive at a desired conclusion should be delivered with the Chili and ready. These include food-stuffs such as cheese, onions, pasta, et cetera, but not decorative serving utensils.”

“While many make and tend to deliver Chili in electric Slow Cookers, contestants should NOT expect electricity to be provided at the Judging Area. The Chili should be expected to remain at a suitable serving temperature for adjudication for at least 45 minutes. The Jury shall account for cooling effects and no entry shall be penalized for the effects of cooling should it be unavoidable to due conditions beyond the contestant’s control.”

Swing by the welcome and t-shirts table in the vendor building to sign up for the chili cook off and pick up a full set of rules and guidelines.

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Aluminum Gong Show

Gong showCheer for the best, and gong the worst! The Aluminum Gong Show is a side-splitting charity event.

Similar to an “open mic night”, anyone and everyone is encouraged to perform. Do you play an instrument? Tell jokes? Perform stupid pet (or human) tricks? Have an entertaining skill that simply defies description? Perfect! Just sign up and do your very best (or worst) to entertain the crowd.

Here’s how it works:

We’ll have a big glass jar sitting at the front of the stage.  If you like the act, you can “pay” to prevent our judges from gonging it.  Throw a few dollar bills in the jar.  If the act is awful then you can boo so the judges know to get their mallets out. It’s a lot of fun, and all of the money collected will go to a local charity.

If you do like the act, you can sit back and enjoy it.  The best act (as determined by our non-celebrity judges) will get a great prize at the end of the show.

Bring your guitar, clown suit, tap shoes, and/or your comic props to Alumaflamingo and look for the sign-up form for the “Aluminum Gong Show (For Charity)” when you arrive.

Every performance will help raise money for a worthy local cause, and we’ll all have a fun time!

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Calling all Airstream bloggers!

If you have a blog and want to improve it, or you’re thinking about starting one, you won’t want to miss the Blogger’s Roundtable panel discussion at Alumaflamingo.

To participate on the panel, just look for the sign up sheet when you register. The Blogger’s Roundtable is a great way to swap valuable tips, share content ideas, and let others know how to find and follow your blog.

Wannabee bloggers will get answers to their questions—“How can I make money from blogging?” What should my blog be about?”—and anyone is welcome to participate from the audience.

Meet your fellow Airstreamers who are most connected to the community, discover new communication technologies, and most importantly, have a laugh. See you at the blogger’s session!


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