Guest Post by: Matt Sharkey, Florida Warbirds
This weekend, February 25–26, 2017, the First Florida Chapter Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) will be hosting their yearly vehicle rally, vendor event and World War 2 battle re-enactment known the “Southern Outpost” at the Renninger’s Antique Center in Mount Dora. The club will judge military vehicles in many different categories during the course of the weekend.
Special guests at this year’s event are members of the WW2 Armor group, based in Central Florida. They’re planning on bringing some of their WW2-era tanks and vehicles to the show. In addition, the plan is to do near-dusk firing of the guns on the tanks for photo opportunities. WW2 Armor has a M4A1 Sherman Grizzly, 2 M18 Hellcats, M5A1 Stuart, 2 M20 Armored Cars and long list of others. What may be at the show is subject to change, but visitors can expect a nice variety. In its three years at Renningers, vehicle attendance has steadily risen from all groups.
On Saturday, at 1pm and on Sunday at 11am, the WW2 Battle Reenactment and Weapons Demonstration will take place. This is usually a battle between Allies and Axis, with weapons, cannons and tanks. They shoot blanks and/or have staged pyrotechnics in a designated area, so the noise during this time could be loud. If you are bringing a child, consider ear protection for them.
Speaking of children, they may be called forward by the Officer-in-Command (OIC), aka “The Colonel,” for an inspection and possible PT. My son stood in formation last year and had fun. Don’t tell the Colonel he had “fun.” (PT isn’t supposed to be fun!)
Food and drinks are available on-site, whether at the rally grounds or in the main flea market. Sunblock and comfortable shoes are suggested as there is plenty of walking outdoors. Vendors will be on hand selling military surplus and related items throughout the event, as well.
The weekend activities are part of the Winter Rally and Swap Meet that runs February 22–26 at Renninger’s. Come out and support these dedicated individuals as they pay respect to America’s Greatest Generation.