Truck show season is winding down, and to paraphrase Hank Williams JR. Are you ready for a Truck Show? Each year at the end of August people gather in Dallas for The Great American Truck Show. Yes we can debate for hours about a Truck Show in august in Dallas. Yet despite the heat many people show up to see the displays, visit with old and new friends, and just have a good time.
While I am a relative new comer to attending truck shows. This will be my 3rd time visiting GATS, it has become my personal favorite show. Compared to the other major show MATS, this is a smaller show. To me that is a good thing, as it makes it easier to take in the show. Also with fewer events going on it makes it easier to experience the whole show. Whether it really is or is not, the whole show feels more relaxed. Allowing you to have more time to visit with friends and build relationships with exhibitors.
Also Randall-Reilly who owns and puts on this show. Has made a major commitment to making this show place a huge focus on the drivers. They recognize that that if drivers enjoy going to this show and attend then others will wish to as well. Over the last few years they have listened to drivers and incorporated many of their ideas into the show. Resulting in an improved parking lot experience for drivers, the return of the Friday evening concert, and once again this year the Landstar Driver Health and Wellness Pavillion. Where drivers can go for free health screenings, as well as low cost DOT Physicals. There will be an assortment of health related vendors, as well as cooking demonstrations, activities, and free health seminars at the Health Stage in the Pavilion. New this year is the Discovery Pavillion where Drivers can learn about the latest techinolgy and in some cases have a hands on opportunity to try it.
Once again I am parterning up with Randall-Reilly to do cooking demonstrations at the Landstar Fit for the Road Health and Wellness Pavillion, health stage (Try saying that 5 times fast.). I will be joined by Jen Cordero one of the people who keeps the Facebook Group Cooking on the Truck simmering along. This year we will be doing the theme Meals in Minutes. Each day will have a focus, with Thursday being hot meals, Friday cold, and Saturday will be a special surprise. (In fact it is so special they won’t even tell me.)
Already there is a great deal of buzz building for the show. With the John Michael Montgomery concert on Friday night with trucking’s very own Tony Justice opening for him. To various concerts in the parking lot including Bill Weaver, and special guest Paul Marhoefer. There is an important change this year in the parking lot to be aware of. Laurie “Mom” and Buzz “Pops” Scutt of Mom and Pop’s Charity Pit Stop who last year fed the drivers in exchange for donations. Will be unable to attend this year. They had some last minute health issues that arose preventing them from attending. Unfortunately as of this moment no one has been able or willing to take over for Mom and Pop’s on a donation basis. Triumph Business Capital will be sponsoring a free BBQ for drivers on Thursday night. In addition there will be some paid food vendors to help feed drivers for other meals.
Here is a current list of planned events for the truck parking lot. Please note this is subject to change and more is likely to be added.
-shower trailer sponsored by TA
-Free concert scheduled both Friday and Saturday nights (Reel2Real Rock)
-Free BBQ Thursday night provided by Triumph Capital
-Free beer Thursday and Friday night provided by ONE20
-Smokin Wheelz will be providing food options for every meal each day
-Golf cart rentals
-5K race/fun walk Saturday AM
-Church Service Sunday AM under the tent.
In short there will be alot to see and do both at Truck Parking as well as the show itself. This looks to be a great show as always this year. Keep an eye on my Facebook feeds to find out when and where I will be. I look forwards to seeing my old friends and making new ones this year.
Most importnatly it is still NOT too late to register. If you register online admission is free. An important reminder parking for Big Trucks will be for free over at the State Fairgrounds. Trucks will not be allwoed to park behind the conventions center due to constructions and other issues.
I have included links to many of the events going on at the show, and touched on only a few of the things that will be happening. Your best bet to learn more is to explore the GATS website for yourself.
Lastly If this is your first show. Here are some tips, I wrote for my friends at Tough Tested Earlier this year on attending trck shows.