For the weekend, gates opened at 7 a.m. daily. Set-up day on Thursday had an exciting feel about it as the trucks, rigs and sponsors rolled on grounds. With everyone in position for the weekend, popular attractions included the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) Showcase, LTAA stock-to-show Jeep transformation, off-road playground with Rausch Creek and, of course, the Big Rig Show and Shine presented by Progressive Commercial Insurance. The big rigs, positioned on the east side of the grounds, showcased the backbone of American industry as well as modern technology. The rigs also drew a big crowd Saturday night as part of the annual show and glow display. LEDGlow also had the Manufactures Midway glowing Saturday night with its neon contest. Those onsite with neon on their ride were encouraged to make their way towards the midway to show their stuff as reps from LEDGlow judged the displays and doled out awards.
Along with the over-the-road haulers, the nearby Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC) mustered a great pool of military trucks and the monsters were well represented with Bigfoot, Backdraft, Virginia Giant and Megasauras on grounds. Bigfoot, the monster that started it all took part in multiple competitions with Backdraft during the weekend and their destruction led directly to a savage cleanup by Megasauras. Diehl Wilson's Virginia Giant ride truck kept families entertained too, providing rides for a majority of the three-day weekend.
WGTY, Great Country 107.7 sponsored the stage for the weekend and played host to a pair of bands. Friday and Saturday saw Deezle Church and Chris Woodward play multiple sets, with each band drawing interest from everyone on grounds. What also drew a crowd on Saturday were are trio of contests: burnouts, beauty and drop and drag.
Finally, and the reason everyone came to Carlisle, the trucks! The displays showcased a wide array of trucks spanning multiple generations and multiple brands. Each major motor company was represented and with midway partners sponsoring certain aspects of the weekend, that made for an even more enjoyable time. Further, www.CustomVan.com supported a spectacular van display in and around Building Y. This feature showcased vans of all types, with in-van entertainment that in some cases would rival that of a home system.
In all, the Truck Nationals remained the family-friendly fun time that it's been since 1991. Next year's event is already in the planning stages so be sure to mark August 2-4, 2013 on your calendar.