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Tony Karsnia
01-15-2014, 01:17 PM
Welcome to the 38th annual Professional Car Society International Meet information thread! Beginning today, this is where you will find updated information and details regarding this year's meet, which will take place Tuesday, August 12 through Saturday, August 16 in Rochester, Minnesota.

This meet, "RESPOND TO ROCHESTER!" is being hosted by the PCS Northland Chapter, with my wife Kim and I serving as Chairpersons. We have planned what we feel will be a fun, relaxing, enjoyable, and educational time for you in an area that is metropolitan enough to have ample amenities, yet rural enough to let you experience beautiful country lifestyle. And what a better place to bring your professional car than to an area with miles and miles of easy 2-lane country touring and lack of traffic congestion!

The city of Rochester is known for it's rich Medical significance and history, as well as many other attractions and opportunities. Between the activities we have planned for you, the opportunities you'll have to explore the area on your own, and our ongoing tradition of warm Northland hospitality, we are confident you'll find "RESPOND TO ROCHESTER!" well worth attending. As I have said many times before, we do not take for granted those who take the time and incur expenses to attend our meets; our mission is to make your Northland experience great so you'll want to keep coming back to play cars with us!

To get us started, here is the hotel information and a general overview of the week's activities. I will follow up with subsequent detailed posts outlining each day's activities and a master registration form. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel welcome to contact me either by telephone: (612) 325-2344 or email: kars971@aol.com

So, if you want to get out into the country, kick back and enjoy some down-home hospitality while enjoying those professional cars the way they were intended to be, then plan to join us as we "RESPOND TO ROCHESTER!"

To learn more about the city of Rochester and it's offerings, I've included a link to the visitor's section of the city's website: http://www.rochestercvb.org/

Our headquarters host hotel is the RAMADA HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER, very conveniently located just off Hwy. 52 at the 16th Street SW exit. The hotel has all of the comforts and amenities that we seek in a PCS International Meet headquarters including recently renovated guest rooms, ample parking for our large vehicles, business center, large meeting spaces, and indoor pool area with waterslide and whirlpool. Many options for food and beverage are just steps away. For that matter, basically everything in Rochester is just a short distance away with such simple navigation, you won't need to worry about losing your way back to the hotel!

A block of rooms has been reserved for the meet at a special rate of $94 (plus tax) per night and includes continental breakfast. Please make reservations directly with the hotel by calling (507) 289-8866. If you call between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM CST, you are most likely to actually speak to someone at the hotel, rather than being transferred to the main reservations center. Either way, if you have any difficulty making a reservation, please notify me right away and I will assist you.

Ramada Hotel & Conference Center - Rochester
1517 - 16th Street SW
Rochester, MN 55902
(507) 289-8866

For more information about the hotel, see: http://www.ramada.com/hotels/minnesota/rochester/ramada-rochester-mayo-clinic-area/hotel-overview


Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Presentation: History of Gold Cross Ambulance Service, presented by Mr. John Perkins, former owner of Gold Cross. Complete historical presentation with accompanying photos. Vintage ambulances and equipment on display.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Scenic Mississippi River Valley Tour
Lark Toys – Kellogg, MN
National Eagle Center – Wabasha, MN
Lunch – Slippery’s Restaurant (from the movie “Grumpy Old Men”)
Elmer’s Toy & Auto Museum – Fountain City, WI

Thursday, August 14, 2014
PCS Board Meeting
Road trip to Austin, MN
SPAM Museum
Mower County Historical Society
Evening barbecue and social at a rural Rochester farm

Friday, August 15, 2014
Trolley Tour of Rochester
Mayo Clinic – Heritage Hall
Mayowood Mansion
Lunch – Garden Marketplatz
Assisi Heights
Plummer House and Gardens
PCS General Membership Meeting

Saturday, August 16, 2014
Concours d’Elegance Professional Car Show in Soldier’s Park, just south of downtown Rochester
Evening Awards Banquet
Light and Sound Show

There will be ample time for attendees to explore Rochester and the surrounding area on their own. It is a very easy city to navigate, offering many dining, social, and leisure time options; basically big city amenities with rural character.

Tony Karsnia
01-20-2014, 07:40 PM
I'd like to begin introducing the specific day-by-day agenda to you for this year's PCS International Meet, so we'll start with Tuesday, August 12. This is what we consider the "early bird" day. We have planned a light schedule with an enticing activity.

For those traveling long distances, we'll give you additional travel time in the morning. For those who already arrived, you'll have time to sleep in or explore Rochester.

At 1:00 PM, we will depart the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center via professional car motorcade, en-route for the "Man Cave" of Mr. John Perkins, former owner of Gold Cross Ambulance Service. Beginning at 1:30 PM, John will present to you "The First 32 Years of Gold Cross" a detailed , historical accounting - with photographs - of the challenges and progresses lived daily in the early years of this Minnesota-based ambulance service.

John's "Man Cave", a combination office and garage suite, is sure to contain memorabilia and vehicles of interest. Light refreshments will be served. There will be no charge for this activity.

There is not a formal, group meal planned for this day, so take advantage of the opportunity to grab some of your favorite cuisine. A restaurant list and map will be provided in your registration portfolio.

Those of you who have attended our Northland Chapter meets know that we are famous for packing a lot of activity into short periods of time; basically giving our guests maximum value for the visit. In other words, impromptu side trips, vehicle and guest appearances, etc. are not beyond us.

In the meantime, here's a little teaser for what John Perkins will have to show you:

Tony Karsnia
01-21-2014, 07:49 PM
Enjoy complimentary continental breakfast at the hotel prior to boarding Motor Coach tour buses departing at 8:00 A.M.


Scenic Mississippi River Valley, LARK Toys, National Eagle Center, Lunch at Slippery’s Tavern & Restaurant, & Elmer’s Toy & Auto Museum

Relax and enjoy the scenic beauty and unique culture of the Upper Mississippi River Valley and Great River Road, a national scenic by-way rated among the top scenic areas in America! We'll journey through hardwood forests and picturesque farmland, then to historic river towns and spectacular overlooks of the river valley. Along the way, we’ll visit wildlife refuges and nature parks, take in a live eagle program at the National Eagle Center, view the lock and dam navigation system, and experience a magical toy shop that is among the largest in the country. After enjoying lunch at Slippery’s Tavern & Restaurant in Wabasha, home of the classic film Grumpy Old Men, we’ll head to the Wisconsin side of the River with unique stops at Nelson Creamery and Buena Vista Park & Overlook before arriving at our final destination, Elmer’s Toy & Auto Museum, where we’ll have ample time to explore its five museum buildings and amazing collections of pedal cars, autos & cycles, and antique toys.

Highlights ~ Wednesday August 13 2014 ~ 8:00am to 5:30pm ~ $69 per person all-inclusive!

Great River Road National Scenic Byway ~ Rated Most Scenic Drive in America in 2012
 Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge ~ Backwaters, Bird-watching & Nature
 LARK Toys & Hand-carved Carousel ~ Largest Family-Owned Toy Store in the U.S. (Kellogg, MN)
 National Eagle Center ~Live Eagle Feeding Program, Photos & Museum (Wabasha, MN)
 Slippery’s Tavern & Restaurant ~ Enjoy Lunch Overlooking the Mississippi River (Wabasha, MN)
 Historic Downtown Wabasha ~ Oldest Town in U.S. West of Mississippi
 Historic Nelson Creamery ~ We’ll stop for ice cream at this unique Wisconsin creamery
 Lock and Dam Navigation System ~ Watch Boats & Barges “Lock Through”
 Buena Vista Park & Overlook ~ Scenic Overlooks of the Mississippi River Valley
 Elmer’s Toy & Auto Museum ~ One of the Largest Pedal Car Displays in the Country (Fountain City, WI)

Upon returning to the hotel at approximately 5:30 P.M., dinner will be on your own.


Tony Karsnia
02-20-2014, 01:20 PM
We'll get this day off to an easy and relaxing start. After breakfast, you'll have time to get your professional car gassed up and ready for the day's activities.

10:00 A.M. - Professional car motorcade departs hotel for road trip to Austin, MN (approximately 45 miles.) Participants will be divided into two groups.

11:00 A.M. - Upon arrival in Austin, "Group Cotington" will tour the SPAM Museum, while "Group Seville" tours the Mower County Historical Society.

SPAM Museum website: http://www.spam.com/spam-101/the-spam-museum
A bit more about Mower County Historical Society here: http://www.mowercountyhistory.org/mchs.html

12:30 P.M. - The Cotingtons will meet up with the Sevilles at the Mower County Historical Society, where everyone will enjoy lunch, catered by a local favorite, Steve's Pizza. The menu will include a variety of pizzas (including SPAM, of course!), salad, and beverages.

1:30 P.M. - Group Seville departs for the SPAM Museum while Group Cotington tours the Mower County Historical Society.

3:15 P.M. - Both groups meet up at the Hormel Institute for a tour (approximately 45 minutes.) For more information about the Hormel Institute, visit their website: http://www.hi.umn.edu/

After the tour, we'll get the cars back on some two-lane country roads!

All-inclusive cost for the Austin trip (SPAM Museum, Mower County Historical Society, lunch, and Hormel Institute) is $18 / person.

5:00 P.M. - Barbecue at Scanlan's Red Barn Farm in rural Hayfield, MN. Our chef will be former PCS President Gene Dybinski, well-known for his culinary skills, especially to those who attend his annual holiday parties in Chicago. Enjoy a relaxing evening on a rural Minnesota farm, learning about farm operations, raising animals, vegetables, etc. There will be hayrides and a surprise evening activity or two!

A message from the Scanlan's:

"My name is Brenna Scanlan. My husband Brian and I own Red Barn Learning Farm. We envisioned a place where we could make a living doing something we were passionate about, while also enriching the lives of others. We believe that raising our family in the country alongside our animals, garden and fresh air is incredibly fulfilling. Our kids benefit from the empowerment of caring for animals and growing their own food. We can't wait to share all this with you!

The Scanlan family would like to welcome you to our cozy acreage just SW of Rochester, MN! The Red Barn Learning Farm is a destination that your kids will talk about for months to come. Come climb in the silo, jump on the straw bales in the barn, cuddle with a farm kitty, drive our pedal tractors, pick your own vegetables, and visit our large variety of barnyard animals. We can't wait to see you at the farm!

Cost for the Barbecue is $5 / person.

Tony Karsnia
02-20-2014, 01:30 PM

Mayowood Mansion, Assisi Heights, Plummer House, & Lunch at Garten Marketplatz

Relax and enjoy this entertaining and informative tour featuring all of Rochester's major historic, cultural, and architectural sites and attractions. Rochester and the "Blufflands" region boast a rich and fascinating Indian, pioneer, stagecoach, steamboat and Civil War history. This tour offers an overview of Rochester's fascinating medical history along with the Mayo family's ties to the pioneer, Civil War and Dakota Indian history. By the end of this tour, you will know the inside story of Rochester's amazing growth and transformation from a humble Midwestern farm town to world-famous mecca for the medical arts. We guarantee you will be surprised and delighted by the charm of Rochester's many hidden scenic and cultural gems.

Highlights ~ Friday August 15 2014 ~ 9:00am to 4:00pm ~ $69 per person all-inclusive

 Mayo Clinic Campus ~ Tours of Heritage Hall & Vintage Ambulance at Mayo Clinic
 Plummer Building ~ Tour of Historical Suite, Offices of Mayo Brothers in Original Clinic Building
 Downtown Rochester & Peace Plaza ~ Cosmopolitan Shops, Restaurants, & Plazas
 Feith Family Statuary ~ Park Honoring Founders of Mayo Clinic & Saint Mary’s Hospital
 Calvary Episcopal Church ~ Mayo Family Church & Oldest Church in Rochester
 Mayo Civic Center ~ Iconic Statues of the Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie, Co-founders of Mayo Clinic
 Silver Lake Park ~ Charming Lake District Featuring Limestone Bridges
 Mayowood Historic Corridor ~ Dr. Charlie’s Limestone Dairy Barn, Stables, and Greenhouses
 Mayowood Mansion ~ Tour of Former Home & Estate of Mayo Clinic Co-Founder Dr. Charlie Mayo
 History Center of Olmsted County ~ Features Pioneer Log Cabin & Historic Stoppel Farmstead
 Assisi Heights ~ Tour of Convent & Chapel of Franciscan Sisters who founded St. Mary’s Hospital
 St. Marys Hospital Campus & Chapel ~ Among the Largest Private Hospitals in the World
 Mayo Foundation House ~ Former Home of Mayo Clinic Co-Founder Dr. Will Mayo
 “Pill Hill” National Historic Residential District ~ Historic Homes of Pioneering Doctors
 Plummer House of the Arts & Botanical Gardens ~ Former Home of Dr. Henry S. Plummer

5:30 P.M. - Henney Chapter dinner (restaurant to be announced.)

7:30 P.M. - PCS General Membership Meeting at the hotel.

Tony Karsnia
02-20-2014, 02:12 PM
Show Day!

Our annual PCS Concours d'elegance Show & Shine will be held in Soldier's Park, just south of downtown Rochester and minutes from our host hotel. This is a family-friendly environment with plenty of walking paths, shade trees, swimming pool, Veteran's Memorial, and easy access to downtown shops and restaurants.

10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. - Concours d'elegance Show & Shine. Vehicle judging and photo shoots throughout the day. We are pleased to announce that our Chief Judge this year will be Mr. Steven B. Loftin, well-known professional car photographer and historian. Steve is well-versed in the authenticity of not only professional cars themselves, but related equipment and accessories.

6:00 P.M. - Cocktail reception with live music at the hotel. Cash bar.

7:00 P.M. - Grand Awards Banquet at the hotel. This will be an evening to remember with live music, delicious buffet dinner, specially invited emcee and guest speakers (descendants of funeral service and coachbuilder families) coupled with Power Point photo presentation. *There will be a special display of vehicles from this specific coachbuilder throughout the meet.* Awards ceremony and annual Light & Sound Show to follow. You won't want to miss this grand evening!

Banquet cost is $38 / person.