WAUPUN — This weekend is the 23rd year Waupun will host one of the biggest trucking shows in America. Taking over the helm after three years of working in the background is Ron Vande Zande, one of the shows founders.
“I’ve had a three-year rest, and I’m back with vigor and fresh enthusiasm,” said Vande Zande.
One of the most exciting things said Vande Zande is the response he’s getting of the number of truckers coming for the first time.
“I’ve talked to guys from Canada, Ohio, New York, Tennessee and Minnesota who are coming,” he said.
Vande Zande expects a turnout of 300 or more rigs and trucks of all sizes. The event is a salute to the trucking industry, a chance for truckers to strut their stuff and truck enthusiasts to put their best face forward. The two-day event is not only a showcase for American truckers, but a fundraiser for various charities like the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin, and the Special Olympics.
The show features two parades. The Friday night parade, the Lights of the Night Convoy, starts after sundown and winds several miles down Main Street, where all the city street lights, and the truck headlights, are turned off, to better show-off the bright lights of the trucks. The colorful event lasts about two hours with hundreds of residents lining the streets cheering the passing convoy.
On Saturday is the Ride of Pride parade which has been called the nation’s largest truck parade. It follows the same route as Friday night’s parade.
All throughout the two-day event there are bands and displays to see.
The event is free and free transportation is provided from the parking areas to and through the truck show grounds at the Community Center, 510 E. Main St.
“I’d like to see everyone on the parade route invite friends, have cookouts and enjoy the parades,” said Vande Zande. “Oh, and this year everyone can be an ‘Urban Cowboy’ and come down and ride the mechanical bull.”
2012 Wisconsin Truck Show Schedule:
9 a.m. to 8 p.m. — Truck and light show registration
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Milk trucks (registration and competition)
Noon to 9 p.m. — Exhibitor displays
Noon to 9 p.m. — Kids Area – Games and inflatable rides
Noon to 9 p.m. — Model truck contest registration
4 to 7 p.m. — Chicken BBQ
4 to 8 p.m. — Clay Canfield (solo guitar and song artist)
6 p.m. — Milk truck competition (awards 7 p.m.)
7 p.m. — Individual pioneer and truck recognition awards
7 p.m. —Special Olympics Parade Auction & Program
8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. — Back Home Boys (classic rock, country)
9 p.m. — Lights of the Night Convoy and judging
7 to 11 a.m. — Pancake breakfast at Rock River Intermediate School
8 to 10 a.m. — Competition registration
8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — Parade registration
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Exhibitor displays
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Clay Canfield
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Truck judging
Noon to 9 p.m. — Kids area
Noon — VFW and American Legion Color Guard and United Men of Praise – National Anthem performed.
Noon to 2 p.m. — Make-a-Wish motorcycle registration –
Noon – Make a Wish parade auction and program
2 p.m. – Model truck contest
3 p.m. — Ride of Pride Truck Parade with motorcycles preceding the trucks
7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. — Dance (admission charged) with Back Home Boys and Oil Can Harry
- Friday, Aug 10, 12:00 am
- Saturday, Aug 11, 12:00 am