'Things to do'

Dutch oven demo 2015—Monkey Bread

DO 1Flamingoers, plan to participate in our always-fun Dutch Oven Cooking Demo! Bring your cast iron cookpot and the ingredients below; you’ll learn how to make delicious “monkey bread” during this special workshop with an accomplished Dutch Oven camp cook.

The complete recipe and group instruction will be available when you get to Alumaflamingo (and by now you’ve received your Get Ready Guide with all the info you need for your week in Sarasota). Be sure to add these items to your galley!

10” or 12” Dutch Oven

Kitchen shears

Aluminum foil

2 rolls of Pillsbury biscuits

1/2 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp cinnamon, tossed together in a large ziploc bag

1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 stick of butter in a second large bag

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iPhoneography with Boxfotos

BoxfotosLearn the art of “iPhoneography” at Alumaflamingo!  Photographer Matt Larson will host “Getting the Most Out of Your iPhone—Taking Better Pictures” on Friday 2/27, at noon, in the Ken Clark building.

The four-hour class will include an instructional presentation, hands-on learning and shooting time, and a wrap-up critique and review of images. “The purpose is to improve your iPhone photography skills, and discover apps that allow you to shoot and edit on the fly,” said Matt.

Photographer Matt Larson and Rebecca Sexton Larson, cofounders of Boxfotos, are a husband and wife “art couple” who work, teach and exhibit historic photographic works out of their 23-foot, 2008 International Flying Cloud Airstream.

Boxfotos_MuseumOfFineArts“Having a mobile gallery space and classroom is more practical then buying or renting a traditional business space,” said Matt. “Plus, we don’t have to decide which city to live in—we can go anywhere!”

The couple is quickly creating a brand and a national following as they change the traditional fine art business model by going mobile, and marketing their own artwork. Boxfotos has been referred to as “Monsters of Mobile Art,” “Creative on Wheels” and “Art in a Box” by local and international media outlets and publications.

Catch Rebecca’s lecture “Meet Boxfotos Airstream” on Thursday 2/26 (in the Potter building at Alumaflamingo) to hear how Boxfotos was formed and learn some of the historic photography processes they use, including pinhole, salt printing, collodion, and bromoil techniques.

Boxfotos is offering the iPhoneography seminar to Alumaflamingo attendees at a special price: only $40 (regularly a $150 value).

To participate, you’ll need to bring an iPhone (sorry, no substitutions), fully charged, with your charging cable. A working account to the Apple App store is recommended (but not required), as well as the ability to download selected iPhone Apps.

Sign up at the Alumaflamingo registration desk as soon as you arrive; this sure-to-be-sold-out seminar is limited to 40 people.

Questions? Feel free to email Matt Larson at matt.larson@mac.com.

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Aluminum Gong Show 2015

It’s boisterous. It’s breathtaking. It’s bad. It’s back! The Aluminum Gong Show returns to to Alumflamingo.

gong show apzPalooza applause










You know the rules: Play an instrument, tell a joke, perform an interpretive dance, and/or sing a song while the audience cheers…or you get the gong.

Anyone and everyone is encouraged to perform! It’s all in good fun, and proceeds go to charity. (Read more details here.)

Add your guitar, bongos, costume, comic props and whatever else you need to bring down the house to your Alumaflamingo packing list, and look for the sign-up form at the registration desk when you arrive in Sarasota.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Alumaflamingo 2015 will be full of other fun entertainment, including live shows most nights, jam sessions, and popular crowd-pleaser Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours.

jam session

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Tour the Cavanaugh Company


One of most fun aspects of the Alumaevents are the offsite adventures, and the factory tours are always a hit.

Not only do they provide insight into the culture and history of the region, company tours offer the opportunity to learn about American made products and appreciate the people who make them.

violinDuring Alumaflamingo you’ll see inside the family-owned Cavanaugh Company, manufacturer of a variety of musical products: Black Diamond Strings for fretted instruments (like the guitar), Super-Sensitive strings for bowed instruments (like the violin and cello), and BARI synthetic reeds and mouthpieces, used in clarinets and saxophones.

Traditionally, gut violin strings are used, but changes in temperature can ruin their sound. To solve this problem the Cavanaugh company developed their “Sensicore” line of nylon strings. (Similarly, natural cane reeds can be inconsistent, and synthetic reeds were developed by a wolfesaxophonist—the founder of Bari—in 1952.)

Flamenco stringsMetal strings have their own unique characteristics, too, and are designed to create a specific sound. Tone and strength are considerations. And how instrument strings are polished makes a world of difference. Who knew, right?

Their line of Black Diamond guitar strings—developed in 1890—have a rich history. “We get calls weekly from folks who discovered a vintage set in their dad’s old guitar case,” states the website. “They’re looking for that same set. They want to carry on the tradition.”

This tour is limited, so sign up at the registration desk as soon as you arrive! Download the Preliminary Event Program to check out the other fun and fascinating tours on the Alumaflamingo schedule.

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Sarasota Classic Car Museum

car musuem




Auto enthusiasts, you’ll flip for the rides at the Sarasota Classic Car Museum—the (almost) oldest continuously operating antique car museum in the country.

During the Alumaflamingo guided tour you’ll see antique, exotic, European, and one-of-a-kind classics, including the Ringling’s Rolls Royce collection, John Lennon’s right-hand drive 1965 Mercedes, Paul McCartney’s beloved Mini Cooper (built with a Philips record player), and, for you drag race fans, Big Daddy Garlits’ dragster number two.Pop Group The Beatles 1963

Over 75 automobiles are displayed, “consisting of the alphabet of the world’s foremost automobile manufacturers”: Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Cadillac, DeLorean, Edsel and Ferrari.

The museum also houses a fun antique  arcade game display, an antique camera exhibit, and a wonderful gift shop—full of rare collectibles—where you can pick up a mini-memento of your loved one’s favorite car.

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Exciting Alumaflamingo vendor news!

AS logo Dexter Tampa

Aaah…Florida in February. Hopefully you’re signed up for a sensational week in sunny Sarasota!

At Alumaflamingo 2015—February 24 to March 1—you’ll have the opportunity to kayak with dolphins, learn how to fly fish, taste award-winning rum, pet a manatee, and sing along live with Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours. But access to Airstream-oriented suppliers, informative tech seminars, and one on one interaction with trailering experts is what makes Alumaflamingo so special. Come for the sun, stay for the vendors!

Among them will be Dexter Axle, who will also host a seminar AND offer onsite bearing repack and brake service. (Newbies, this is a real perk—find out more onsite!)

Tampa RV will once again be the official Airstream dealer sponsor of the event, and will bring a shiny fleet of new models to tour.

Representatives from Airstream, Inc. will be joining in the fun as well—Justin Humphreys (VP Sales) will present his “State of Airstream” address, and Tim Maxwell (Regional Representative) will host tech seminars. Both Justin and Tim are looking forward to meeting and mingling with attendees.

There will be a hands-on polishing and exterior maintenance seminar, a session on batteries, solar power, and charging systems, a newbie class, and much, much more. Download the Preliminary Program to learn more about the valuable education (and fun) planned during Alumaflamingo week.

Not yet registered? There’s still time and space available to join us next month, but hurry! It’s easy to sign up right here online.

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Antsy and The Troubs at Alumaflamingo

Antsy McCLain at the Thoroughbred Theater 1-20-07

If you have an Airstream, you’re likely a fan of Antsy McClain of the Trailer Park Troubadours—and you’ll get to meet the man at Alumaflamingo.

The birth of his Antsy’s first grandchild precluded his presence in Sarasota last year, but he’ll take the stage at Alumaflamingo—with his full band!—on Saturday night, February 28.

Antsy enjoys migrating to Florida to hang out with friends at his old stomping grounds and visit with his “Flamingohead family”—including the Airstreamers he meets in person at events like Alumaflamingo. “What I like about Airstream people is that they get up and get out there,” he said. “Airstreamers don’t wait for people to tell them to get moving.”

This past year has been a busy one for Antsy, who has been juggling family, building a new studio space, creating art, and of course, singing, songwriting and touring across the country (and in the UK). Next month he begins a string of appearances on PBS stations across the country.

Read more about Antsy at the Airstream Life website and in the Outside Interests article archive.

By the way, have you signed up for the Outside Interests online newsletter? It’s FREE and full of fun-sized news you can use: easy Airstream tech tips, lifestyle hints, travel tales from the road, and updates about recent and approaching Alumaevents including important event registration info, the latest activities, and special offers.

Encourage your friends to sign up, too—Outside Interests offers something for all Airstream owners, newbies, wannabes, and anyone else who loves aluminum trailers, vintage trailers, or just RV travel.

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Drum Circle Distilling Tour

SiestaKey_Spiced_Rum_Bottle“There’s naught, no doubt, so much the spirit calms as rum and true religion.” You got that right, Lord Byron.

Calm your spirit, at least, when you visit award-winning Drum Circle Distilling, one of the fun Alumaflamingo offsite adventures.

During the rum factory tour you’ll meet the acclaimed Siesta Key Rum makers and learn about small batch distillation methods. At Drum Circle, spiced, silver and gold rums are made from the fanciest available ground spices and honey (“we did not get into this business to let the cost of ingredients drive the rum flavor,” states the website), and entirely hand-crafted in a copper pot still. “This allows us to produce a delicious rum that harkens back to a time before mass production and the bottom line determined the quality and flavor of rum.” Cooking Light magazine named their spiced rum as one of the best artisan products in the country in 2012.

After the tour meet in the tasting room to enjoy samples of the “dangerously drinkable” Siesta Key spirits— “possibly the tastiest rum in the world,” said the Miami New Times. Free samples will be flowing (and can be poured into a Siesta Key Rum keepsake shot glass.)

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Mote Aquarium Breakfast Experience

Have breakfast with a manatee! Or a sea turtle. Or a shark!

At the Mote Aquarium Breakfast Experience, Alumaflamingo attendees will enjoy continental breakfast and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour before the facility opens to the public.

Mote is a working marine laboratory where visitors experience marine life up close and personal—even sharks, swimming in their 135,000 gallon open water “Shark Zone” habitat, where popular Florida game fish (and the world’s largest grouper species) also make their home.

You’ll be able to pet rays and reef animals at the touch tanks, and the Mote website encourages you to “be sure to say hi to some of our star residents” like manatees Hugh and Buffett, and the sea turtle gang: Caleb, Hang Tough, Harry, Shelley, and Montego.

You’ll also meet marine scientists and observe their projects in viewable working laboratories. Mote researchers are hard at work understanding why sharks are rarely afflicted with cancer—and what that means to human cancer treatment.

Sign up early for this fantastic offsite tour at the Alumaflamingo registration desk.

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A day at the beach, Sarasota style

Among the outdoor outings planned for Alumaflamingo is a bright, sunny beach event at Ted Sperling Park on the Gulf Coast.

Kayak, fish, bike, hike, birdwatch, or simply lean back and enjoy the weather at this beautiful location on  South Lido Beach.

Bring your own kayak, paddleboard, canoe, fishing equipment, and other beach rec gear. Waves and calm water are both waiting to play in, as you’ll have access to the Gulf side as well as the inlet side of the water. (Sports equipment is readily available for rent in Sarasota.)

BYO lunch for the grill, too—we’ll have hot coals ready for you to cook your favorite picnic fare.

Ted Sperling Park (named for a former county commissioner and leader of the local “Save Our Bays” movement) also features a nature trail with hiking paths and observation decks in the cool pine and mangrove forests.

The number of participants for this day at the beach is limited, so sign up early at the Alumaflamingo registration desk!

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