For those of you who aren’t aware, the weather in Panama City Beach, Florida, is pretty freakin’ great when April rolls around every year. Knowing this insider tidbit, the crew of Vital Signs Street Designs pushed back the annual throw-down that is Spring Fling a month and took full advantage of Mother Nature (that sounds bad, but it’s a good thing). What started off as a “parking lot” show so many years ago has grown into one of the largest events in the Southeast.

No clouds showed up Saturday, but plenty of folks and their rides did as the 15th annual Spring Fling kicked off. Trucks from as far away as Michigan began rolling in as soon as the gates opened, and the swarm didn’t let up until well after lunch. Of course, with so much to see there were tons of spectators flooding the gates as well, so Vital Signs made sure the masses were satisfied as DJ Derrick kept everyone’s toes tappin’ and the many food vendors kept their tummies topped off. There were also numerous merchandise vendors on-hand so finding parts wasn’t hard to do. This was a plus as everyone wanted to make sure their ride was running on all cylinders so it could haul them to the after-party on the beach that night.

The show got ratcheted up a notch on Sunday with the VS crew hosting the Spring Fling club games, which includes the infamous drag contest. This contest has nothing to do with trucks and everything to do with To Wong Foo. (Don’t know the movie? If not, look it up.) A charity auction was held afterward, but then it was time for the highly anticipated Miss Spring Fling 2011 Bikini Contest. This is always a crowd-pleaser that sends three lovely ladies home with some serious cash.

Every year Vital Signs donates the proceeds from Spring Fling to local charities, but this year they did something special. All of the proceeds from this year’s event went to the family of Lilie Brewer who, as you’ve probably read by now, are seeing their little girl through multiple heart surgeries. Check out www.facebook.com/teamlilie if you’d like to learn more and possibly help out with a donation.

The Lowdown

Name
Spring Fling

Location
Frank Brown Park, Panama City Beach, FL

Dates
April 16-17, 2011

Sponsors
www.airbagit.com, Sommer Sound Systems, SS Customs, Mautofied, Coca-Cola, CF Sign and Stamp Company, Grand Panama Beach Resort, Sleep Inn, MainStay Suites

Contact
www.springflingcarshow.com