For the last 10 years, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has been the home of one of the largest shows to ever hit the East Coast, and it can easily hold its own with any mega-event held anywhere in the world. For 2003, the All-Truck Nationals turned out to be absolutely massive. With roll-in beginning as early as Friday morning, the lines to register for the show were packed outside the event and down the road. By Friday night, 1,900 entrants were registered, with more to come on Saturday morning.

The gates opened bright and early on Saturday to allow everyone enough time to clean up their rides and begin enjoying the weekend's festivities. The Carlisle All-Truck Nationals is one event that promises (and delivers) more custom varieties of trucks than you'll ever see anywhere else in one location. A trip to this event is guaranteed to bring you a view of everything, from door-draggin' minis to custom semitrucks, work trucks, fullsize trucks, and trucks you have to see to believe. The event drew more than 36,000 spectators to the showgrounds, which was a super-busy venue for a weekend-long show.

Once inside the massive showgrounds, the Carlisle staff directed everyone to the right area to park since classes were parked together. This just made it easier for judges to get their job done, without having to look all over for an elusive truck or two that would've been impossible to find in such a huge field of displayed customs. Carlisle also offered three options for those showing their rides: You could have your truck judged as part of the show's sweepstakes (the judges pick your ride apart at the highest level); you could be judged in a field of trucks by class; or you could park your truck in the Fun Field with your truck club.

All weekend long, tons of activities kept those at the event occupied. Attendees were able to sit in the grandstands and enjoy the monster trucks that were leaping over cars and giving people rides in those specially equipped for multiple passengers. Spectators could just as easily watch the high/low contest between the tallest of trucks and the lowest of ground-scrapers, or catch the Carlisle All-Truck Nationals' bikini contest, where plenty of bikini-clad beauties strutted their stuff for cash prizes. If that still wasn't enough to keep you busy, the Carlisle staff had more than 600 vendors on hand to make buying parts and accessories as easy as taking a walk around the massive vendor area. For those who needed to wet their appetite for an adrenaline rush, a rock climbing wall and bungee jumping were readily available. Motorheads of all kinds enjoyed assembling around the mobile dyno that was set up to test the output of their high-horsepower-output creations.

The Carlisle staff posted the winners list bright and early on Sunday, so those who were in contention for trophies in their classes could find out right away how they'd done in the competition. At the All-Truck Nationals, things are done a little differently than at most shows you'll attend. Since the staff posts the names so early, this allows the winners to assemble with their rides and drive past the grandstands to collect their trophies. This way, thousands of people see you pick up your award and which vehicle won what, rather than just putting a name with a trophy. This drive-by is coveted by those who win Carlisle's Best of Show awards.

The Carlisle All-Truck Nationals is easily one of the largest shows in the country and shouldn't be missed, so be sure to mark this massive event on your calendar for 2004. The next Carlisle All-Truck Nationals will be held on the weekend of August 6. For more information, contact: www.carsatcarlisle.com.