Here are some banquet dinner highlights.
Please see separate blog articles on the Swap-a-Rama, Layouts, Banquet, and Manufacturers' Announcements.
As per tradition, Lowell Smith (Rail Smith Models) began the evening with a prayer. He is one of a handful of folks who has attended all 27 of the NSE National Conventions. While folks ate the buffet dinner, Centennial Express (MicroTrains’ Eric Smith (vocals playing the ukulele) and Kato’s Jumpei Kikukawa (he played a cajon, a box-shaped drum) regaled us with songs like Country Roads (by John Denver). Volunteers (an army of 20 to 30 people) were thanked. Model and Module contest winners were announced. Folks won lots of raffle prizes and contributors to the NSE Magazine received their Author's Cars.
RaffleIn between announcements, folks won raffle prizes ($20K worth of inventory donated from many manufacturers/convention sponsors).
As usual, the prizes got more and more expensive (10 and 12 pack items, multi-pack locos) as the evening wore on. Manufacturers got up to read off some of the raffle prizes for the items (many multi-packs, locos, decoders, etc) they donated and winners got to take their photo with these generous raffle contributors.
At the end of the Raffle, any folks who did not win anything were invited to choose "consolation" items.
This year's Banquet car was a Micro-Trains Tootsie Roll 50 foot steel Gondola car complete with a candy load (Tootsie Roll company is Chicago-based and has been making the chocolate taffy-like candy since 1907).
folks who penned an article in 2018 for the NSE magazine.
See you next year in Nashville, TN! Please see separate blog articles on the Swap-a-Rama, Layouts, Banquet, and Manufacturers' Announcements.