These days, honoring “essential workers” typically just means the first responders and people in the medical community. But there are a host of vital workers in other industries, as well. People like farmers, truck drivers and members of the military are vital and essential to our country’s operation, safety, and well-being. This event, put together in less than a week, was done to honor ALL of these vital and essential workers.
The Midwest Pride In Your Ride Truck and Tractor Show is a two-day event typically held the first weekend in May at the Tri-State Raceway in Earlville, Iowa. The show features semi-trucks and farm tractors from across the Midwest. The weekend includes a cancer survivor convoy, a truck pull, a light show, a live auction, and semi drag racing. The event donates all proceeds to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in the hopes of finding a cure. Relay Teams and other volunteers donate time and expertise in all areas of the show.
Over the last nine years, this event has donated $652,216 to Relay for Life! The biggest year was 2014 when the show raffled off “Longhaul Survivor” – a 2000 purple Peterbilt 379 truck. Tickets were sold for $10 each the entire year before the show in 72 different locations across the US. The winning ticket was sold at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY. The winner was from Canton, MI. The “Longhaul Survivor” donation alone was $142,420. The show also currently has a pulling semi called “Destination Unknown” and raffles off chances to drive it at local pulling events. The truck is powered by a V12 Detroit hooked to an Allison automatic that can be driven by anyone over the age of 18.
When planning started for the 10th Anniversary of the Midwest Pride In Your Ride Truck & Tractor show, COVID-19 did not exist. Little did we know that the country would come to a halt and prohibit the show from happening. On April 27, 2020, plans started to take shape of having a semi-truck cruise to honor essential workers. The event turned out to be an Honor Cruise, with bobtail semi-trucks, held on May 2, 2020.
Casey’s General Store handed out cookies to drivers as they arrived at 300 Raceway in Farley, IA. The cruise started at 1:00 PM and passed through 15 communities, ending at McDermott Oil in Cascade, IA, with a complimentary cookout for all the truck drivers. Many fire and rescue departments lead the cruise through their respective towns. All along the 5-hour and 120-mile route, there were many spectators watching from their cars or front lawns. The 68 trucks that participated honked and waved as they went by. This event made social distancing possible to keep everyone safe and bring smiles to those waiting out this pandemic at home.
As stated before, this cruise was to honor ALL essential workers, including medical, law enforcement, fire, truck drivers, farmers, military, etc. The cruise took the procession of trucks through the cities of Farley, Worthington, Dyersville, New Vienna, Luxemburg, Colesburg, Petersburg, Earlville, Greeley, Edgewood, Delhi, Manchester, Hopkinton, Monticello and Cascade, Iowa. It was a great day, and the support shown by all of the communities the line of trucks passed through was amazing.
Leading the long procession was Eldon Jaeger’s 1999 extended hood Peterbilt 379 with a custom four-door crew cab. Mounted on the back of the truck, in place of the 5th wheel, was a stainless-steel box that measured 5’ high, 9’ long and over 3’ wide. This box was covered with a patriotic vinyl graphic stating the mission of this Honor Cruise on the sides and “God Bless America” on the back. A few weeks after the cruise, Eldon took this truck with the sign attached to the Amcan Truck Fest in Union Grove, WI on June 12-13 to show his continued support for ALL essential workers.
Thank you to everyone who helped put this event together and to those who participated. It takes a lot of people to make an event like this happen, and we cannot thank them enough for all the support. Special thanks to Simon’s Trucking for the use of 300 Raceway. The 2021 Midwest Pride In Your Ride Truck & Tractor Show is currently scheduled for May 7-8, 2021. Mark your calendars now and don’t miss this fun event!