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Still To Come: The August Shows!

by Jim Park

Hard to believe it's August already, but we've still got a full month of summer left. And that means at least three more big truck shows plus another major event on tap in September.

Rodeo du Camion - The second half of Summer 2001 starts on the first Thursday in August in the hamlet of Notre Dame du Nord, Que., just a few miles east of Hwy. 11 near New Liskeard, Ont., with the famous Rodeo du Camion. Each year, it attracts hundreds of competitors and tens of thousands of spectators from all over the world. The highlight of the weekend is, of course, the truck races - drag races, really - though there's a show and shine, product displays, and lots of music as well.

Competitors race bobtail or drag loaded B-trains about 750 ft up a 14% grade in town to earn bragging rights and a return trip to the starting gate in another heat. Eventually, it's down to two finalists, and there's where the excitement peaks. There's also the popular Modified Class, where anything goes. The judges turn their heads the other way for this one, and it literally becomes a contest of driver skill and mechanical imagination.

Once again, highwaySTAR is a proud sponsor of this unique charity event (over the past 20 years millions of dollars have been raised for local charities). We know there's not much warning here, but if you're passing anywhere near New Liskeard that weekend, take the short detour into Quebec and enjoy the festivities. Tell dispatch you caught food poisoning from one of those fast-food outlets near Toronto. For more info, call 819/723-2712

Black Gold Rodeo/Mackenzie Drivers Reunion - The weekend of August 18-19 brings many of the veteran drivers who opened up Canada's north by building and running the Mackenzie Highway in northwest Alberta out for a few days of reminiscing. There'll be plenty of bull in Grimshaw, Alta., that weekend, so be sure to pack the tall boots.

This year's event is to be piggy-backed with the Black Gold Trucker's Rodeo, which pits the best drivers in Alberta's oil patch against the clock, the judges and ultimately each other in this one-of-a-kind driving skill competition. Drivers in all classes of oil-patch rigs from ponies and B-trains to the body-jobs and pickers will be out in full regalia and doing what they do best. If you've never seen these folks in operation, it's an event not to be missed. There'll be an old-time dance on Saturday night as well, a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning, and tons of socializing all through the weekend.

It all takes place at the Lac Cardinal Provincial Park in Alberta's Peace River district, just a few miles from the town of Grimshaw. There's camping on site and more civilized accommodations in town. For more info, call Bernice Lorenzen, 780/332-2969

Performance with Pride Show and Shine - Last year's inaugural Performance with Pride event in Saskatoon brought a lot of cool iron to Saskatoon Place, and they'll be at it again on the weekend of August 25-26. The organizers put on a great show earlier this summer in Winnipeg and they promise some big-time American show trucks will be in town for the August weekend. That doesn't worry the local talent. As they proved in Winnipeg, those prairie boys don't take a back seat to anyone.

Uniquely, any of the competitors who participated in both the Winnipeg and the Saskatoon shows will be eligible for the Overall Show prize. The winner in each of the bobtail and combo classes will be riding home on a brand new Harley Davidson, courtesy of Winnipeg Harley Davidson and Red Head Harley Davidson of Saskatoon. For more info, call 877/783-6851.

Waupun Trucker's Jamboree - And we shouldn't forget this one, which happens August 11-12 in Waupun, Wis., about 50 miles northwest of Milwaukee. Literally, the whole town of Waupun throws open its doors to the nation's truckers in a great big 'Thanks' for a job well done. If your travels take you anywhere near Waupun, drop by and share in the celebration.

Truxpo - Come the end of September, there's western Canada's big annual trade show. This year, in keeping with tradition, Truxpo moves back to Alberta from B.C., to Northlands Park in Edmonton on September 28-30. Local distributors and manufacturers will be there, plus displays from all the truck makers as well. Drop by a have a chat about your next truck, engine, transmission or whatever else.

And come by the highwaySTAR booth to say hi. We'll be around for the entire weekend. For more info, call 888/878-9835

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