I’ve been regularly attending the Waupun Truck-n-Show in Wisconsin since its beginning. It’s been one of the truck shows at the top of my list to attend every summer. Being from Illinois, it’s a short 3-hour drive to Waupun. I consider this show to be the standard for how one is planned, organized, and executed, and the people there are so nice, as well. The 32nd Waupun Truck-n-Show, held on Friday, August 13, and Saturday, August 14, 2021, at the Waupun Community Center, was yet again a great success.
One of the best things about this event is that the community completely supports it. The staff of people who put on this show is outstanding – they put their heart and soul into making it the best show it can be and have much experience doing it. The venue where the show is located, on the grounds near the Waupun Community Center, the high school baseball diamond, and the middle school, is perfect. There is an abundance of space to park many trucks and trailers, and also plenty of parking for attendees. There are 32 vendor spots on the main road, which is Spring Street, that passes in front of the Community Center. It handles all the traffic for the truck show weekend. There are also 48 vendor booths and the food and beverage area located inside the Community Center. It’s the hub of weekend activity, and also where the awards are presented on Saturday afternoon.
As always, the weather can be a big determining factor for the success or failure of any show, and thankfully the weather was good this year. There was plenty of sunshine all weekend long, however with that sun came heat and humidity typical in a Wisconsin summer. Good weather brings many trucks and attendees to a show, and this is the first key ingredient to a successful event.
Another ingredient for a successful truck show is a variety of good vendors. Counting 10-4 Magazine, there were 35 vendors, including California Custom Products, Tim’s Sports Blocks, AHT Windows, Waukesha State Bank, SJ Trucks, Bumper Girl, American Truck Historical Society (ATHS), Beer City Chapter, Dale Bridge, REACH, Women in Trucking, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Homer’s Towing and Service, Army National Guard, NHH Services, Pomp’s Tires, PDI, Renegade Products, OOIDA, JX Enterprises Peterbilt, Valley Chrome Plating, Jr’s Metal Polishing, Sam’s Little Red Wagon, Evan’s Detailing & Polishing, Big Rig Tees, Say Cheese, Meyer’s Pressure Washers, Kwik Trip, Truck Country, Collins Bille Sweet Wheels, E.H. Wolf & Sons, Big Rig Chrome Shop, Spoerl Trucking, and Midwest Carriers.
The 10-4 Magazine booth sat right in front of the Community Center next to Evan’s Polishing booth. It was a perfect location for our booth and contributed to a very successful weekend. We had a great number of 10-4 followers and people stop by the booth to get their free copies of the magazine, centerfolds, and posters. Many of these booth visitors also purchased 10-4 t-shirts. It was very busy all weekend. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth!
A third ingredient to a successful show is tasty food and drinks available to everyone participating in the truck show. Once again, the Fox Lake Sno-Blazers Snowmobile Club had large food and drink booths in the Community Center. They provided a large variety of food and drink offerings that included pork chop plates and sandwiches, shredded chicken plates and sandwiches, cheeseburgers, brat plates and sandwiches, and hot dogs. They also provided a variety of Pepsi and Budweiser products, along with water, to quench everyone’s thirst on a hot truck show weekend. In addition, they also provided coffee and donuts each morning. On Friday evening, a cod dinner was served that included bread, potato salad, and coleslaw. I sampled several of the sandwiches and can attest that they were delicious!
A fourth ingredient to a successful truck show is planned activities during the event. To begin with, there is the registration of trucks participating in the show, which takes place on the west end of Spring Street. Once registered, the trucks travel across Spring Street for everyone to see, before getting parked, so everyone gets a nice preview of the trucks being displayed that weekend. This event, among other activities, also includes a Friday night light parade, then another parade on Saturday afternoon.
The Friday night light parade is a thing of beauty. Everyone on the truck show grounds (and also the community) are actively involved with this event. Townspeople begin reserving their spots along the parade route beginning Friday morning. Anticipation builds throughout the day, and the parade begins right after dark. The beautiful sounds of Jake brakes, revving diesel engines, and loud truck and train horns fills the night air of this small town in central Wisconsin. But the best of all are the beautiful trucks and trailers, with their many bright lights, glowing in the evening sky. It truly is a sight and sound to behold. This year’s Friday night light parade took almost three hours to complete.
Both parades hold auctions where participants bid on positions before the parades begin to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The top nine spots for each parade were auctioned off, with the first spot on Friday night going to Gary Geib for $1,800 and the first spot on Saturday afternoon going to Jerry Kissinger for $4,000. All told, the parade auctions raised over $23,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation! Live music was presented both Friday and Saturday night, and there was no cost to listen to the bands play. Friday night, the group Riding Shotgun provided the evening entertainment, while Saturday night’s great musical entertainment was provided by Royal South and Vice Versa inside the Waupun Community Center. I listened to all three groups and truly enjoyed the music they played.
The final ingredient for a successful show is a variety of trucks and trailers that participate, and Wisconsin always delivers. There was great participation and many impressive trucks – nearly 300 – that participated in this year’s Waupun Truck-n-Show. It was truly an amazing display of some of the finest equipment in the Midwest. It seems a new standard is established each year at this show with the astounding number of high-quality trucks. I toured the show field several times, taking photos for this show report, and had a front row seat in the 10-4 booth to view all the trucks that participated in both the Friday night and Saturday afternoon parades – it was the highlight of my weekend! From my discussions with some of the judges, it was a challenge picking all the winners, with so many nice trucks.
There are over 70 classes of trucks at the Waupun Truck-n-Show and some 300 trophies are handed out, but the biggest winners this year were Jimmy Ganski (Best of Show) and Don Wood of DSD Transport (Best of Show Runner Up). Other big winners included Mitchell Bottomley of Bottomley Enterprises, who took the Best of Show award in the Lights category, while Don Wood of DSD Transport got the runner-up spot once again. KR Transport, LLC took home the trophy for Largest Fleet, and the Mayor’s Choice went to Charles Kennedy of Berry Trucking.
History was made this year at the 32nd Waupun Truck-n-Show when, for the first time ever, Jimmy Ganski and his gorgeous red and white Peterbilt was selected as the Best of Show winner back-to-back (2020 and 2021). Jimmy’s combo was also the December 2020 cover truck on 10-4 Magazine. It was an outstanding accomplishment for Jimmy, his family, and his crew, to be the top truck at Waupun two years in a row, and to appear on our cover. Congratulations Jimmy, you earned it all.
Finally, I would like to give a great big shout-out and thanks to Duey Vande Zande and Brenda Douma for all the assistance and guidance they provided me at this year’s event. They were very helpful and gracious hosts. Duey and his staff of workers put together another awesome truck show in Waupun, WI.
There is an expression often used to express hospitality in the Midwest. They often say people are “Midwest nice” but I’ll take it a step further – in reference to the Waupun Truck-n-Show people – they are Wisconsin nice! I look forward to returning to Waupun, WI on the second weekend of August in 2022, and hope to see you there, too.
LIGHTS CLASSES (MODIFIED):
1st Place Winners: Mike Wilkinson; Mike Mueller; Sean Leitner; Alan Sherling; Brian Pete; Zach Roleboom; Luis Valadez; Don Wood; Mitchell Bottomley; Andy of Faring Enterprises; Dan of Zip Enterprises.
2nd Place Winners: Trevor Coufal; Dave Vande Zande JR; Charley Kennedy; Derek Olson; Nick Hansen; Derek Bates; Ron Stowell; Jesse Wilinski; Andy Smith.
LIGHTS CLASSES (DOT-LEGAL):
1st Place Winners: Vince Destrale; Nerison Livestock; Mike Mueller; James Berend; Jason Limberg; Nate Sigatus; Caleb Smit; Jeff Stib; Todd Hacker; Joel Kulig; Jon Stead; Randy Brown.
2nd Place Winners: Tanner Lambrecht; Nick Spinn; Jeff Kreuziger; Jeff of Warner Transportation Specialists; Casey Spensley; Colin De Young; Nicholas Krueger; Jason Baxter; Kevin Retzlaff; Rohlfs Transport; Marco Flores; Brandon Conlon.
MILK TRUCK CLASSES:
1st Place Winners: Mike Marx; Kevin Stenitski.
2nd Place Winners: Craig Gehring; Brett Barr.
ANTIQUE (CHROME CLASSES):
First Place Winners: Dan Wirtanen; Dave Kempf; Adam Schaalma; Tom Bronce; Jack Wells; Glen & Luke Regners; Joe Missbach.
2nd Place Winners: Ron Naber; Jamie Smallish; Tim Schlefke; Rudy Fabroski.
ANTIQUE (DIAMOND CLASSES):
1st Place Winners: Mike of F&M Farms & Sons.
2nd Place Winners: Roger Wiff.
1st Place Winners: Joel McDaniel; Mike Wilkinson; Lenny of Jac Transfer; Randy Bege; Tanner Lambrecht; Dave Gulich; Rob Hallahan; Keith Lance; Steve Schaalma; Sporel Trucking (two trucks); Wes Hibner; Vic Abbs; Andy of Faring Enterprise Inc; Harry Heisel; Dylan & Devin Fehrman; Mike Mueller (two trucks); Robert Wellach; Douglas Mayer; Nerison Livestock; Dave Vande Zande Jr; Andy Crowley; Ryan Grossmann; Brian Kopischke; Jordan Ballwagz; Garret Lumley; Clay Delsman; Dan Kimball; Kevin Voigt; Kevin Retzlaff; Mike Melvin; Todd Hacker; Eric Bilgo; Nick Krueger; Mitchell Haug; Caleb Smit; Joe Schmitt; Kevin Stenitski; Brian Pete; Anthony Pallin; Bob Krencisz; Tony Lemler; Andy Smith; Randy Brown; Dexter Ray; Anthony Lang; Doheit Swan; Dave Smith; Hunter Delabarre; Ned Wernham; Matt Schlafer; Graham Giese; Luis Valadez; Emanuelle Valadez; Adam Johnson.
2nd Place Winners: Brandon LeSage; Mike of Krielkamp Trucking; Dan Zanto; Sabua Navarno; Rich Nowinski; David Marcotte; David of Hallahan Transport; Ryan Neville; Jason Delabarre; Jacob Krueger; Sam Smedema; Al Wagner; John Mike; Nick Spinn; Danielle Vandenberg; Vince Destrale; Chad Beehan; Dylan Burns; Boe Delabarre; Kim Jaikes; Jeff Bolstad; Todd Butler; Adam Peppler; Nate Sigafus; Kyle Blume; Tyler Nelson; Shepard Auto Transport; Steve Beno; Don Pics; Ron Stowell; Jason Baxter; Alan Delgado; Ozzy Serna; Cody Bandan.
1st Place Winners: Trevor Coufel; Gary Gieb; Scott Caleb; Jimmy Ganski; Don Wood; Zach Roleboom; Ken Stuart; Scott Sr. of Blume Trucking; Mitchell Bottomley.
2nd Place Winners: Lee Bockensteak; Jon Stead; Charley Kennedy; Casey Spensley.
BEST LIGHTS OF SHOW: Mitchell Bottomley.
LARGEST FLEET: KR Transport LLC.
MAYOR’S CHOICE: Charley Kennedy.
BEST OF SHOW: Jimmy Ganski.