It'd been a couple of years since we'd made the eight-hour drive from South Carolina to Hamilton, Ohio, to cover the North American Nationals put on by Ed Eldridge. Ed has been promoting shows in this particular area of Ohio for quiet a while and has developed a pretty good following. For the past couple of years, he's been putting on his show at Middletown Motorsports Park in Monroe, Ohio, which is just a few miles north of Hamilton, just north of Cincinnati. This is a great show site, covered with trees, with enough room for nearly 1,000 customs.
The gates opened at noon on Friday and closed down at 6 p.m., with hundreds of vehicles being registered. Early on Saturday, the weekend's festivities were slammed into full swing before the gates opened again, allowing everyone who hadn't registered to do so, while the early entries were already inside and detailing their trucks for the show judging that would be taking place. In one corner of the park, a judging area was set up so entrants could drive up and have their vehicle judged before heading out to cruise the park and check out the other rides.
There were a lot of great rides, including SUVs, S-10s, Rangers, Chevys, and just about every other make imaginable, on display at the show. Later in the afternoon, club games got underway with volleyball, tug-o-war and a game called corn holing. It's a game where you take a little bag filled with corn and toss it through a 6-inch-diameter hole cut in a 2x3-foot wooden board 20 feet away. The clubs participating sure seemed to get a big kick out of it. After the games ended, four lovely ladies took to the stage to show off their attributes in the North American Nationals' bikini contest. With only four girls, the judging didn't take long. The competition was fierce, nonetheless.
By that time, things were starting to wind down for the day, and it was time to ride out for an evening of food and cruising. There was a cruise-in going on in the town next to Monroe, so many of the participants from the show made a beeline to get in on the action. Trucks cruised through the unsuspecting town until the late hours, trying to get their fill of what mini-truckers just can't seem to get enough of - attention.
On Sunday morning, everyone headed back to the park, although many weren't as intent on getting there quite as early as they had on Saturday. Most showed up to find out just who had won what in the show classes by those whose trucks stood head and shoulders above the rest in the eyes of the event's judging team. The show was a great success, and as far as we know, everything is on for a 2005 event to be held at the Motorsports Park. For more information, contact: Ed Eldridge, (513) 868-6117. We hope to see you there.