July 2, 2009
There are tanks, jeeps, and even the world’s only operational LST (Landing Ship Tanks). But, there’s also enough militaria to fill a convoy of deuce-and-a-halfs at the Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s annual convention, August 6-8 at Evansville, Indiana. It's a great place to score uniforms, web gear, patches, and lots of obscure artifacts.
Most historic military vehicle hobbyists also collect militaria, rounding out collections that compliment their vehicle display and era of interest. And many take it a step further to participate in re-enactor events. So it’s no surprise to find dozens of militaria vendors exhibiting at this year’s convention.
“A lot of collectors don’t realize that the convention has so many militaria vendors and how many great finds are on those tables!” says Steve Preston, MVPA Convention Chairman. With the convention open to the public all three days, you don’t have to be a MVPA member to register at the door.
Garry Hisel, of the hosting MVPA-affiliate, The Indiana MVPA, adds, “With so many great displays, collectors can see many of their favorite items in context with a vehicle and period-correct setting.”
If the display of all those vendors, historic vehicles, and a convoy through downtown Evansville isn’t enough, many other activities round out the convention events. LST 325 hosts tours and a voyage down the Ohio River. An antiquing and walking tour of New Harmony, a National Historic Landmark, is a great idea for family members who want to explore beyond the militaria and vehicles. Further, a relaxing motor coach tour will highlight Evansville’s extensive WWII industrial production, including where the LSTs were produced. Visitors also can tour the Indiana Military Museum to learn more about America’s military history from the Revolution to present day.
The 2009 MVPA International Convention at Evansville’s Vanderburgh 4-H Center & Fairground brings together historic militaria and vehicles in an historic city, with fun events for the entire family. Check out all of the information, including convention schedule and event costs at www.mvpa.org, the MVPA publication Supply Line, or call the MVPA headquarters at 800.365.5798. Note that a large turnout is expected and some tours and events are space-limited.
Established in 1976, the Military Vehicle Preservation Association is a non-profit organization for military vehicle enthusiasts, historians, preservationists, and collectors interested in the acquisition, restoration, preservation, safe operation, public education, and display of historic military transport. The MVPA is headquartered in Independence, Missouri with approximately 9,000 members worldwide.