Mother Nature always seems to have her own plans when it comes to providing good or bad weather at the shows, and this year, at the 4th annual Midwest Truckfest, it was no different. And, the force of nature is no match for even the most well-planned event.
I headed to Kismet, Kansas on Saturday, September 1, 2018, and skies were sunny until I was a couple hours out from my destination, when I came into some rain. Thankfully, by the time I arrived, it had stopped. If you have ever been on the gravel roads in Kansas, you know very well how slick they can get. Needless to say, I was happy I hadn’t washed my car prior to traveling, as my car now had an added brown texture to its actual charcoal gray color.
Some may recall that the Midwest Truckfest was held towards the end of August last year. Colton and Lauren Chase were the hosts of this year’s event, and they opted to change the date to avoid being at the same time as the Great American Trucking Show (GATS) in Dallas, TX – and also to support their town of Kismet’s Little World’s Fair.
For those that aren’t aware, this is a charity show, and all proceeds always go to a designated charity or family. This year’s proceeds went to the family of four-year-old Grace Martinez who was diagnosed with Leukemia. As with previous years, all trucks in attendance each get a 5-gallon pail to set by their truck, and the people in attendance can choose to put money into the buckets of their favorite trucks (or all of them).
This year’s sponsors were Ekkel Diesel Repair and Ekkel Truck Wash out of Turpin, OK, Kost Truck out of Liberal, KS, Kismet Lions Club out of Kismet, KS and Billy’s BBQ out of Liberal, KS.
Sunday afternoon and into the evening was truck registration, and then there was a BBQ dinner donated by Billy’s BBQ out of Liberal, KS. Upon finishing dinner, as we were just about to start cleaning up, it began to drizzle. Me and a few others thought it would pass, but as we were standing under the overhang of the building, a thunderstorm brewed, the wind picked up and the rain started coming down in sheets. As the rain always does, it passed, and the evening was concluded with the light show – and plenty of extra mosquitoes, thanks to the wet weather.
The parade was scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 3rd, but there was a delay as there was supposed to be a fly-over by a couple of local crop dusters to start the parade, but due to dense fog, it wasn’t possible. The whole parade went smoothly, but when I found my perfect spot to take pictures of the trucks in the parade, the clouds let loose and it poured again. Yes, I got soaked, but more importantly, I got the pictures. At 4:00 p.m. was the awards ceremony, as they do every year, with trophies handed out for the highest amount of money earned.
The winners were: 1st Rick Pucket and his Peterbilt 389; 2nd Colton Chase with his 2002 Peterbilt 379 and Timpte Super Hopper; 3rd Preston Gapinski with his Peterbilt 379 and Wilson hopper bottom; 4th Jason Chase with his 2003 Peterbilt 379 and Timpte Super Hopper; and 5th Devin Ellis with his Peterbilt 379 and livestock trailer.
Though the number of trucks was down from last year, trucks still showed up, even with all the rain that came. The show raised $2,000 for Grace and her family. The 2019 Midwest Truckfest will be held again on Labor Day Weekend, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Kismet Little World’s Fair. Stay tuned to the Midwest Truckfest Facebook page for updates, including what next year’s charity will be. Special thanks to all of those who came out for this event and donated money to the cause.