National Boogie Van Day 2022: Becoming a Vanning tradition

2022 National Boogie Van Day
Rad Happenings & Matt Grayson

February 20, 2022, marked year three celebrating the wildly popular new growing annual holiday known as “National Boogie Van Day”. From an idea three buddies concocted a few years ago in Rosemead, California, National Boogie Van Day has broken national boundaries and gone full throttle into the airspace of an international event with “Vanners” (that is, people who van) from around the globe chiming in, posting pictures of themselves with their vans, and friends and family celebrating one of the automotive communities hottest new holidays.

As it did last year, the holiday founders (Vanmily Van Club & Rolling Heavy Magazine) hosted a free-to-all picnic at the Whittier Narrows Recreational Area off the 60 FWY in Rosemead. For decades it has been a legendary spot for automotive meet-ups, so this park is an experienced host to every genre of car, truck, van, or motorcycle.

2022 National Boogie Van Day
Rad Happenings & Matt Grayson
2022 National Boogie Van Day
Rad Happenings & Matt Grayson

Having attended an event the night before in Palmdale, California, I was up and out the door at 7:00 a.m after getting only a couple hours of sleep. I was dragging ass hitting the road, fueled by the excitement of seeing everyone and doubly thrilled to meeting anyone new who would show up this year. My immediate attention was on my GPS, directing me to KC Donuts off Mission Road in San Gabriel. The thought of that tall coffee and fresh apple fritter were the weights keeping my foot on the gas pedal as I guided the Battle Wagon through the swerving Southern California freeways, dodging the chaos of early-morning Los Angeles drivers.

As I left KC Donuts with a warm cup of joe and the fritterest of apples, the clock on the wall read 8:17 a.m. It was a fifteen minute drive over to The Narrows from there, and the picnic was set to start at 10:00. Knowing that everyone likes to arrive early to land that Primo Parking for them and their crews, I had to hustle.

Pulling up to the park I could see the guys were already there and everything was pretty much ready to go. Whew, that was a relief! Just minutes after I got parked and checked in, vans steadily started pulling up. Singles, Gaggles, Vans on their own or clubs packed in. By 11 a.m. we had already counted past the 137 Vans in attendance, and the flow wasn’t stopping. It was like Coors Beer flowing in Colorado: a nice steady stream.

A little after high noon, it was time for the annual group photo. Next year we’re gonna have to bring bullhorns, because trying to walk around and tell every individual person to get over to the spot was a challenge. From the look of the crowd we pulled together, yep, it didn’t look like we missed anyone. We got the photo taken and everyone returned to the good times. Next up was the Tug O War. Van Club vs Van Club, friends against rivals—everyone duked it out and had a blast seeing who was the strongest.

Around 2:00 folks started peeling off and heading out. People came from near and far to celebrate National Boogie Van Day with us, and we as a whole couldn’t be more grateful.

What’s next year have in store? That’s a damn good question. Guess you’ll just have to stay tuned and find out.

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