This spring, Assorted Miniatures put on the latest version of its annual show, which always promises to have plenty of southern draggin' hospitality. The event, held at the Washington Convention Center in Greenville, Mississippi, brought in custom rides in all shapes and sizes from all over the country.
Roll in began midday Friday afternoon, when the vendors for the event pulled their rigs through the Convention Center's front gate to set up. Later in the evening, some participants jumped on the chance to register for the show before they went back up the road to check into their hotel rooms and watch the after-hours happenings on the streets of Greenville.
Participants spent Friday afternoon testing the newly paved main road with their undercarriages. The city of Greenville was totally prepared for the mini-trucker invasion, and most of its businesses had signs out front welcoming the mini-truckers for the weekend. Likewise, the local police department proved to be somewhat dragger-friendly, but it didn't advocate any idiocy behind the wheel where someone could be hurt, as shown by the many who were ticketed for doing doughnuts or burnouts in the street.
Early Saturday morning, the line into the show was long, but the Assorted Miniatures' staff had people moving through the gates at an amazing pace. Before noon, most of the people who wanted to show their rides were in place, readying themselves for the Assorted Miniatures' show judges to go through the long lanes of show vehicles to pick Showfest's best.
Row after row of incredible customs, nearly 900 in all, and some premiering at Showfest for the first time anywhere, could be seen lining the event. There were plenty of returning show vehicles for the 2003 season, but you aren't going to believe some of the radical rides you'll see in the pages of Mini Truckin'.
There was a large contingent of vehicles that rolled from California to Mississippi to attend the event. Even Ernie Macias' red Mitsubishi from the cover of the Feb. '03 issue of Mini Truckin' made the drive successfully. Rumor has it that more than 50 vehicles were traveling with the group as it rolled toward Greenville, and to the astonishment of those who attended Showfest, most of the vehicles from Cali' weren't the type you'd see rolling under their own power for such a great distance.
Even though the Greenville weather was less than stellar for photography purposes, the rain stayed away most of the weekend and allowed temperatures to climb as high as 85 degrees. Even with darker skies, there was nothing that could sway the enthusiasm of the mini-truckers in attendance at this year's Showfest.
Throughout Saturday, there was plenty going on to keep enthusiasts busy during the show. There were giveaways, various vendors offering special prices on all kinds of mini-truck parts, and suspension goodies for showgoers with a few extra bucks to spend over the weekend.
Saturday night was an even bigger version of what began the night before. Many of the enthusiasts whose licenses were being held at the courthouse learned to drive and drag more carefully, and it seemed the police became even more understanding of the innate need to shoot sparks on city streets. On the whole, the whole weekend was shaping up to go down in the MT history books as one to remember. We're not sure if anyone really knows how late the cruising and loitering lasted Saturday night, but many of the showgoers who had been dragging the streets were back in the showgrounds early Sunday morning to avoid missing a minute of the happenings at Showfest.
Sunday was more laid back because most people had already been judged, so they found time to hang out with others, check out the competition, and visit a few of the vendors on hand. Later in the afternoon, the Assorted Miniatures' staff began to hand out the much sought-after Showfest awards. Because the show was so huge this year, the awards ceremony lasted well into the early evening hours, but no one seemed to mind, especially if their vehicle had proven its merit against some of the finest rides in the South. This year, the quality of the rides in attendance was at an all-time high for Showfest. We hope this time-tested event carries on for years to come because here mini-truckers have an event that rivals any other, anywhere in the world, to hang out and have a good time.
For more information on the next Showfest, held in Greenville contact: Rob Beard, (318) 428-2002; Keith Broadaway, (601) 924-1706; firstname.lastname@example.org.