2015-09-17 / Front Page

20th Truck Show Is This Weekend

Special Features for Richard Crane Truck Show: Reavie Named Grand Marshal; Mobsteel, Optimus Prime, Simulator Coming to St. Ignace
By Erich T. Doerr


The Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show always brings a lot of spectacular trucks, both working and customized, into St. Ignace such as this stylish Peterbilt, driven by Mike Zeerip of Holland’s Rick Zeerip and Sons trucking company, and its trailer adorned with a dogsledding scene, seen here catching the attention of all who passed it downtown during the 2014 truck show. This year’s main truck display will take place Saturday, September 19, leading into the Parade of Lights through town and across the Mackinac Bridge Saturday night. Mr. Zeerip’s truck won him second prize at the show last year for a tractor-trailer combination with a painted mural. The Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show always brings a lot of spectacular trucks, both working and customized, into St. Ignace such as this stylish Peterbilt, driven by Mike Zeerip of Holland’s Rick Zeerip and Sons trucking company, and its trailer adorned with a dogsledding scene, seen here catching the attention of all who passed it downtown during the 2014 truck show. This year’s main truck display will take place Saturday, September 19, leading into the Parade of Lights through town and across the Mackinac Bridge Saturday night. Mr. Zeerip’s truck won him second prize at the show last year for a tractor-trailer combination with a painted mural. St. Ignace will be a sea of chrome, Jake brakes, and customized painted trucks this weekend as it hosts the 20th annual Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show. The show’s main display and the Parade of Lights will take place Saturday, September 19, with action related to the show scheduled to take place from Thursday, September 17, through Sunday, September 20. The Parade of Lights Saturday night, a special highlight of the show, will travel through both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City.

This year’s show is expected to draw more than 200 semi trucks, including both working rigs and customized out-of-service entries. This year’s show will give visitors a chance to take a spin in the Michigan Center for Truck Safety truck driving simulator, see a semi used to portray the character Optimus Prime in the movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” and meet the crew from Mobsteel, a Detroit car customization shop that now has its own self-titled reality show on the NBC Sports Network.

With this year’s various special features, the show is expected to interest truck enthusiasts and the general public, as well.

“It keeps getting larger as the years go on,” said St. Ignace Visitors Bureau Director Mindy Rutgers, who is helping organize the show for the first time this year. “This is a great show for September, as it really helps our fall economy by bringing in a lot of tourists.”

This year’s truck show is being organized as a joint effort between the St. Ignace Visitors Bureau and Nostalgia Productions, the show’s longtime organizer. Both groups are working in association with the National Association of Show Trucks and the Richard Crane Memorial Foundation.

Admission is free of charge. Saturday’s main truck display in downtown St. Ignace will be from 8 a.m. to dusk, leading up to the Parade of Lights. The show’s main display areas will be centered around the Little Bear East Arena and downtown on North State Street. Displays set up by truck dealers and manufacturers will be at the arena. The parking lot of the IGA grocery store across from City Hall will feature the areas set aside for the Mobsteel crew’s visit, a small car show, and a swap meet. The truck simulator will be ldowntown near the St. Ignace Auto and Repair store.

A model truck show will be set up inside the Little Bear East Arena Saturday. It is estimated that the model show will continue from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The show will also feature a concert by the band Brian Lorente and the Usual Suspects. The group will perform near George’s Body Shop alongside North State Street. The Richard Crane Memorial Foundation will operate a charity dunk tank starting at 12:30 p.m. A children’s golf cart decorating parade will take place at 4 p.m.

The Parade of Lights will begin at dusk with the trucks lining up and briefly departing downtown St. Ignace. The procession will make its way south on State Street, then cross the Mackinac Bridge to reach the Lower Peninsula. The parade will loop through downtown Mackinaw City then return back across the bridge to St. Ignace. The parade will exit Interstate 75 onto the north end of the I-75 Business Loop, then return to Little Bear East Arena on State Street. Exit 348 at the northern end of the business loop is closed to regular traffic by a road construction project but a special exception to the closure will be made to allow the Parade of Lights to maintain its normal route.

Truck show-related action will begin Thursday afternoon with the annual convoy. The convoy will feature a fleet of big rigs gathering at the Charlie’s Country Corner truck stop in Grayling before driving to St. Ignace together. The Drivers Recognition Dinner, including the introduction of longtime show organizer Ed Reavie as grand marshal and sevenyear old Jayden Gohl as junior grand marshal, will be held at Little Bear East Arena at 7:30 p.m.

On Friday trucks will begin parking for the show at 4 p.m. The public is welcome to come watch the process as the big rigs are arranged for the weekend’s festivities. Once the trucks are parked, they will be shined up for the weekend displays. The trucks can still be cleaned up Saturday morning until 9 a.m., with judging beginning at 10 a.m.

Registration for the show will take place all day Friday. A new feature this year will be a showing of the movie “Super Rigs” at Little Bear East Arena Friday at 8 p.m. The movie screening may be held indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather. A truck light judging contest will also take place Friday at 8 p.m.

The show will conclude Sunday morning with its 10 a.m. awards ceremony at Little Bear East Arena. The ceremony is open to the public.

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