Who needs March Madness when you’ve got MATS?

| Friday, March 21, 2008

If your mouth is starting to water at the mere mention of pork chops, it can mean only one thing: It’s getting close to time for the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The Mid-America Trucking Show will be open to the general public from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, March, 27; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, March 28; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 29.

After several years of construction and upheaval, the show will once again fill all wings of the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville. While many exhibitors probably won’t be returning to their longtime booth locations, meaning veteran showgoers will actually have to use maps again this year, many of the traditions of the show will carry on.

The Kentucky Pork Producers will be grilling up their signature pork chop sandwiches. There will be plenty of seminars if you feel the need to brush up on some information. The technology and expediter centers will once again be open. The Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Contest will feature eye-popping, jaw-dropping show trucks.

MATS frequently asked questions

Q: Now that construction is done, where is the OOIDA booth going to be this year?

A: OOIDA will be back in the same wing it’s been in for years – although it’s now called the North Wing. But OOIDA’s booth will be much more centrally located. You can join the Association, renew your membership, or just chat it up with the staff at Booth No. 14152.

Q: Where can I park my truck?

A: For overnight truck parking, stop by the Lot L office to pay the necessary fees and receive your parking assignment. You will then be redirected to Lot K or Lot G.

Lot K can accommodate overnight truck parking, but there are no hook-ups. The fee in Lot K is $25 per night; reservations are neither required nor accepted. Lot L is for RV parking with hook-ups available. Lot L costs $45 per night and reservations are required. Call (502) 367-5384 for reservations in Lot L.

Additional truck parking is available at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Free shuttles will be available to take attendees to and from the show.

Q: If I need a motel, can I get one at the last minute?

A: The nearest hotels, motels and even bed and breakfasts are usually booked up six months in advance. Many experienced attendees make their reservations for the next year’s show when they check out. If you don’t have reservations by the time you read this, you may have to stay an hour or so away. If you plan to return in 2009, stop in at an area motel this year to secure next year’s room.

For help making reservations – for everything from economy motels to top hotels – visit the online reservations center at truckingshow.com or call 1-800-743-3100 or (502) 561-3100 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time.

Reservations can be modified or canceled by calling the same number.

Q: I still want to know more.

A: That’s easy. For up-to-the-minute news and information about the 2008 Mid-America Trucking Show, call (502) 899-3892 or go to truckingshow.com.

Q: I’m not going to be able to make it and really feel like I’m going to miss out. Can you help me out?

A: Sure thing. After our blog’s grand debut during the 2007 Mid-America Trucking Show, members of the Land Line Magazine and “Land Line Now” crew who are on the ground at MATS will once again bring the feel and flavor of the show via the blog, “Pork Chop Diaries.” Just visit the Land Line Magazine Web site, landlinemag.com, and click on the “Blog” button on the left side of the home page. You won’t miss a thing.

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