by Paul Williams

The 2003 “BusFusion” VW camper event is again set to attract BusFusionites to the quaint town of Almonte, Ontario from June 12-15. Almonte is located a half-hour from Ottawa.

BusFusion began three years ago, and is growing fast — VW bus owners love to travel. For several reasons, Almonte is an interesting place to visit, even if you don’t own a VeeDub. For a start, it’s the birthplace of Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. There’s a museum in town with a range of exhibits commemorating Dr. Naismith and the development of his humble (formerly) game.

Running at the same time as BusFusion is ArtsFusion, which operates a series of activities, exhibitions and events to showcase the region’s visual and performing arts. The mighty Mississippi River (Canadian version) flows through Almonte and attracts many canoeists to its scenic shores.

2002 BusFusion
2002 BusFusion, click image to enlarge

And there’s a historical connection, too. BusFusion will take place at the Almonte Fairgrounds, a designated Ontario heritage site. The Main Hall and Grandstands are the primary structures on the site, with the wooden, covered Grandstands being the oldest of their type still standing and in use in Canada.

But back to the busses. BusFusion is a camping event that draws hundreds of people from Ontario, Quebec and the eastern US. Some of the planned activities are the Volkswagen Van Painting Contest and parade, a Volkswagen oriented flea market, a communal dinner with door prize draw, and a bicycle tour.

Of course, the vast array of VWs, from early air-cooled Wesfalias to Vanagons to Eurovans makes a unique style of car show, where the exhibitors are actually living in their vehicles. This doesn’t stop visitors admiring the vehicles and adds a social dimension that you don’t experience at more traditional shows.

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