Going into their sixth year as a show in 2021, the Gulf Coast Big Rig Truck Show in Biloxi, MS was anticipating a successful show on July 16-17. As the days got closer, they realized it was going to definitely be bigger and better than the previous years, with pre-registration almost filling the venue to capacity. For those who’ve already attended this show, you already know what it is about, but for those who haven’t, be sure to get your calendar marked for July 15-16, 2022, and check it out next year!
Coming out of 2020, all the shows seem to have everyone excited to get out, visit with their truck show families, and just be able to go out and enjoy life (as we should). And the Gulf Coast Big Rig Truck Show certainly filled the bill. Watching the show’s Facebook page, I could see it was going to be amazing. From previous conversations with Ms. Patti, show coordinator, I was told a show/event doesn’t find traction until around the six-year mark. Well, this show was no exception to that rule.
I knew there would be a lot of trucks there when the show posted the deadline for registration. Even though there is room outside for truck parking, the highlight of the show is parking inside, to enjoy the air conditioning. Yes, during the heat of summer, this is one of the rare shows that holds their event indoors, making things much easier, as far as cleaning and prepping a truck for the show. I for one can enjoy the break of looking at cool trucks while also enjoying the air conditioning – especially in Mississippi – in July!
I arrived in Biloxi on Wednesday, July 13th, in anticipation of the show starting, but also to get pictures of some of the trucks rolling into the MS Coast Coliseum and Convention Center. Chris from Big Rig Videos was also already in town, and he mentioned he would be snagging video of a small convoy of trucks rolling in. I was invited to join, so I could grab pictures of these trucks, which included Shane Boullion and his 2001 Peterbilt 379 (our August 2019 cover feature), Chris Foret with his 2000 Mack tandem axle dump truck, Edward Thompson and his Peterbilt aero truck, and Lynwood Sonnier with his good looking 379. Also in this group was Stanley Burney with his 1985 International, Michael Olivier and his maroon and cream-colored 2019 KW W900, Mitch Arceneaux and his gray 2015 Peterbilt 389, and Coby Duhon with his blue 2007 Peterbilt 379.
Finally getting to the coliseum on Thursday, a decent number of trucks had already showed up, including Rob Hallahan from LaCrosse, WI, who came in with his Mountain Dew colored 389. It was a pretty laid-back day, as trucks were starting to roll in, with many having the idea of trying to miss the rain that had come in over Wednesday night and more that came in late morning on Thursday.
Some of the vendors arrived on Thursday including Troy Huddleston and Josh Foster with RoadWorks, who got “Night Moves” parked and settled in for the show, as well as Seth Wedgeworth of The Chrome Shack out of Poplarville, MS who brought in not only all their merchandise to set up their booth, but also two of their Peterbilt 379s.
The fun really began Friday as trucks from all over came in, including plenty of the local trucks from Mississippi and Louisiana, as well as David and Connie McKinney, who brought out their white and blue “Part Time” 2016 Peterbilt 389 from Alabama. Brubaker Trucking out of Iowa brought their newly built “Mostly For The Money” Peterbilt, McDannell Trucking out of Sycamore, OH brought their orange Peterbilt, and Bubba and Krystal Branch from Florida brought their bright red “Just A Phase” Kenworth, just to name a few.
It was cool to see all the trucks rolling into the building and getting parked. With a tremendous outpouring of support by those who’ve been coming to this event every year, there were also a lot of first timers, who decided to finally come out and see what this show is all about. The last of the trucks to come into the building on Friday were wet from the pouring rain that came in that day.
Saturday seemed to have come and went in the blink of an eye. I was able to take photos without much foot traffic first thing in the morning, but by around 10:00 AM, plenty of spectators were on-site to see all the beautiful trucks in attendance. Everyone also enjoyed the indoor light show, which didn’t need to wait until it was dark to start, and then Tony Justice took the stage to keep everyone entertained. Following Tony’s act was the awards ceremony, with all the trophies sponsored by Diesel Freak out of Michigan.
The awards ceremony was done very efficiently so preparations could begin for the Chrome on the Coast truck convoy. The convoy started later than initially planned, but went very smooth, with the help of local law enforcement leading and trailing the lineup of trucks. By the time the trucks circled back around to make their way back to the coliseum, it was completely dark out, which made for a cool sight, with all the trucks lit-up and out on the streets!
This particular show always leaves lasting impressions on people who say things like “everyone is so nice” and “I felt so welcome” and “I won’t be missing this show anymore.” These are the kinds of shows I love attending, because you are either meeting up with old friends or meeting new ones that don’t really feel new at all. All the people who put this show together continue to learn and grow every year. These coordinators work really hard and strive to improve the show and make it bigger and better than the previous year.
Special thanks from the show to all of the volunteers, registrants, spectators, vendors, and sponsors for their support and help to make each show more successful than the previous. As with each of the Gulf Coast Big Rig Truck Shows, proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, and this show promises to continue providing a great truck show atmosphere for all, while raising as much money for the cause as possible.
With 78 trucks in attendance, this year’s show more than doubled the number of trucks from their 2019 show and filled the venue to capacity (they couldn’t fit another truck if they wanted to), making this show the biggest and best ever. Mark your calendars for next year’s event, slated for July 15-16, 2022. As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.
1st #11 McDannell Trucking;
2nd #16 Brubaker Trucking;
3rd #45 McKinney & Sons Transfer.
1st #59 David Huval Trucking;
2nd #41 Otho Farms;
3rd #4 Bart Boudreaux Trucking.
CLEAN & SHOW:
1st #11 McDannell Trucking;
2nd #49 Atlas Heavy Haul;
3rd #6 Chris Foret Trucking.
WORKING (UNDER 500K MILES):
1st #50 Tanner Transportation;
2nd #54 Howell’s Transportation;
3rd #55 Acme Truck Line.
WORKING (OVER 500K MILES):
1st #11 McDannell Trucking;
2nd #12 PMI/Bryce Transport, Inc;
3rd #49 Atlas Heavy Haul.
1st #56 Shannon Harmon Trucking;
2nd #63 R&J Construction;
3rd #57 Shannon Harmon Trucking.
#19 Fincher Trucking.
#56 Shannon Harmon Trucking.