When a show is around for several years, things tend to change. For those of you that are old-school minitruckers you may recognize the name "Mini Nats."
That's a name that brings back memories of several hundred minitrucks packing a tourist town with people sitting on both sides of the road watching all the custom trucks cruise. Back in its beginning, this was all done in Pigeon Forge, TN. Mini Nats was the East Coast equivalent of a West Coast truck run. It lasted all weekend and brought vehicles from all over the country. Throughout the past 13 years the show has seen several dramatic changes. It has moved to several different locations all trying to recapture the same old feel. The show used to be the July 4th celebration for minitruckers but lost this date a few years ago. Recently it even moved from its home state of Tennessee right across the state line to one of the western most parts of North Carolina known as Maggie Valley. This year's event is also the beginning of a new era, as the show got a new owner! A new owner with a fresh outlook on the show has the potential to make this show bigger than it has ever been. John Dunn acquired the event from long time promoter Charlie Cobble in hopes of making it grow. John marketed this year's event with plans of bringing back the old Pigeon Forge feel and made sure the new location, a smaller version of the Pigeon Forge location, allowed people to sit on the roadside and check out the custom metal rolling down the strip.
The show kicked off early Friday morning which allowed competitors and spectators alike to get checked in early and even judged so they could sit back and relax for the rest of the weekend. After checking in, they could go to a number of local shops, choose between a handful of mini golf courses or just relax and take in the scenery of custom vehicles arriving. Saturday offered tons of club games, including the hot sauce chug, which we could smell from across the show field. Several other games kept the crowd busy while Limo Wreck and Down Cast played a few tunes to keep the silent mountain air lively. As the sun started to dip, the crowd moved a couple miles down the road to the parking lot of Ghost Town In the Sky, a small amusement park, for the dragging and lowest vehicle contest. After a late night of cruising and hanging out with friends, Sunday's festivities got an early start with the awards festivities shortly after lunch which allowed those that drove several hours or more to get a head start on the trip home. For more info, check out the show Lowdown.
Name: 13th Annual Southeastern Mini Truckin' Nationals
Location: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, Maggie Valley, NC
Dates: June 26-28
Total Vehicles in Attendance: 342
Spectator Attendance: More than 1,000
• Very laid-back atmosphere with a live DJ all weekend, and live bands playing Saturday including Down Cast and Limo Wreck
• The dragging competition and Lowest of the Low was held Saturday evening in the "Ghost Town" parking lot
• The town of Maggie Valley was very accommodating toward minitruckers, allowing cruising most of the night and hanging out with friends until the wee hours of the morning
• The awards were all handbuilt metal trophies, Top 50 and 15 specialty trophies
• Dragging competition
• Lowest of the Low
• Mini Trucker Olympics (5 events: hot sauce chug, tug-o-war, car wash relay, rim toss, and 3-legged race) All 5 events + number of vehicles = club participation award. A special shout out to Howard Brown for winning the "Hot Sauce Chug" and taking one for the team to help his club Altered Imagez win the Club Participation Award
Brian "Lost Cause" Walker, Mickey Harris, Parton's Rod & Customs, Morgan's Imports
Parton's Rod and Customs, Event Photo Unlimited, StylinSolutions.com, Audio Sound Designs, Drop 'Em Wear?, Charles Tyre (pinstriper), Flames 'n Things, Scotty Daum (pinstriper), Rocky Top Graphix
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