Hi, Doug & Jan,
Welcome to the world of vintage Airstreaming!
As a general rule, WBCCI rallies, including the International, are held in public places like college campuses, fairgrounds, parks, etc. so that the public is free to wander around the camping areas. There may be exceptions but I don't personally recall having seen any.
Now, having said that, I seem to remember some discussion about "enhanced security" at the Madison International including requiring WBCCI badges and rally ribbons to get in the gate. Normally ID is only required to get into the meeting buildings at the International. I hope they're not planning to fence off the whole rally.
The scheduled Open Houses will certainly be open to the general public, but you have said those aren't convenient times for you. As far as stuff to be had, your '54 trailer is getting to be pretty scarce so you may not find too much for it at the flea market.
One thing that you definitely need to know, though, is that you are in a hotbed of vintage Airstreaming activity! The Wisconsin Unit of the WBCCI has a large Vintage contingent. Last year the Region 5 & 7 Vintage Airstream Club rally was held in Osceola, WI, just up the road from you.
There's no real need for you to join the WBCCI, Wisconsin Unit, and VAC until you are ready to take your trailer on the road and come to some rallies, but please do come by some Wisconsin Unit activities and meet us--we can be very
friendly! Bring some pictures of your Airstream and you'll be greeted like a long lost friend! The Wisconsin rally schedule has been partly preempted by the International being in Madison this year. We will have a kid-oriented rally in Pipe, WI (on Lake Winnebago) in August, a rally in ever-popular Door County in September, and a fall rally in Chippewa Falls in early October. You can keep track of Wisconsin Unit activities on our web site WBCCI Wisconsin Unit
. The Badger Bulletin
newsletter can be downloded from the web site and will give you a pretty good idea of what the unit is like.
Hope to see you up the road,