OOIDA trucking show: Countdown to the big event

| Tuesday, October 15, 2013

OOIDA’s Heart of America Trucking Show gets underway this Friday and Saturday at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. The weekend’s event celebrates the Association’s role as advocates for professional truckers for 40 years.

Attendees can plan on a weekend of gatherings, education, contests, truck beauty competitions, concerts, food, vendors and all-around good fun in celebrating the Association’s 40 years of fighting for the rights of truckers.

The Kansas Speedway is located at the intersection of I-435 and I-70 in Kansas City, Kan., about 15 miles west of downtown Kansas City and less than an hour west of OOIDA’s Grain Valley, Mo., headquarters.

The Oct. 18-19 show will be open to OOIDA members, nonmembers and the public.

On Friday, OOIDA will play host to legendary American rock band Kansas as part of the music scheduled for the event. The Kansas concert is sponsored by Lucas Oil and will be the main event. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Other concerts include Leland Martin, Lindsay Lawler, Rock Paper Scissors, Dog House Daddies, Seven Bridges Road (Eagle tribute band) and Liverpool – A Tribute to the Beatles.

Along with scheduled events and concerts, there’s so much more to OOIDA’s 40th birthday bash.  Here’s a quick rundown.

The Health & Wellness Pavilion, which is sponsored by OneBeacon America Insurance Co., is a must-stop for flu shots, free blood work, glucose checks, free hearing checks and blood pressure checks. Learn more about sleep apnea, and if you have a CPAP, get free cleaning and servicing. Oral cancer screening is available, along with vision tests and much more. OOIDA’s Medical Benefits staff will be on hand to discuss benefits and services available to members, including the new OOIDA Healthcare Exchange.

The Health Walk is hosted by Trucking Solutions Group and sponsored by OOIDA Medical Benefits Group and Inter-Americas Insurance Corp. Sign up for the 1.5-mile walk into the grandstand area on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

OOIDA launched a proactive campaign on safety this past summer that mainly focused on training standards, but that also supports the need to teach the motoring public how to drive safely around trucks. Kansas Highway Patrol and Kansas Motor Carrier Association will provide safety demonstrations and brake tests at the Truckers for Safety area. The patrol will also have a rollover simulator. Kansas Motor Carriers Association will present “touch a truck” and a blind zone demonstration.

The plan is for FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro to be a guest speaker on Friday as well as help present OOIDA’s Safe Driver Awards.

OOIDA Life Member Ron Mermis will be there with a drunk-driving simulator, too.

 The Heart of America Truck Beauty Contest is a main event at the show.  One of the first things visitors will see when they arrive will be show trucks parked side-by-side near the entrance gate. Trophies will be awarded from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday.

On Saturday you’ll find a special area called the Kids Zone for kids of all ages featuring inflatable obstacle courses, a bounce house and other carnival games (face painting, duck pond, beanbag toss). Tickets are 75 cents or 30 tickets for $20. Look for the Kids Zone near the main entrance.

The Great Plains Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has set up a Pet Oasis where you can have your picture taken with your pet for the “Pet and Owner Look-Alike Contest.” We are taking pics all day Friday and on Saturday morning. Voting is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Show coordinators will be announcing competitions for all on Friday and Saturday, including intense contests in Lugnut Toss, Creeper Pull, Conventional Concentration and Trucking Trivia. Cabela’s has set up their BB gun range that everyone can enjoy. Look for the fun in the area north of the show entrance.

Don’t miss the Texting Treasure Hunt. Vendors are divided into six groups. Visit two vendors per group and get their secret codes, text it into the Texting Treasure Hunt number, and win prizes. Grand prize is $500.

The Richard Petty Driving Experience will be in attendance at the Kansas Speedway during the Heart of America Show. If you are interested, call 800-237-3889. Neither the Heart of America show nor OOIDA is affiliated with RPDE. Participation is at your risk. The show will have shuttles for those who participate or just want to watch.

Also, check out the quilt raffle at the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Booth and the neat items on sale at OOIDA’s Cheap Freight store.

History lovers, there’ll be dozens of antique trucks at the American Truck Historical Society display.

Weather: As of Tuesday afternoon, the weather forecast predicts for both days will be partly cloudy, high of 62.

Hours: Show hours are Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parking: Attendees to the Heart of America Trucking Show should take exit 410 off I-70 to the Kansas Speedway. Day visitors and exhibitors will use the Michigan Ave. entrance (the first gate that you come to after exiting the highway). Those using the overnight parking facility will carry on past the Michigan Avenue gate and follow signs to the next entrance at Talladega Drive.

Kansas Highway Patrol is expected to be on hand to direct traffic, and a hired parking service will be on the grounds to direct visitors into the parking areas. (In the event of heavy traffic, it is possible that the Highway Patrol may choose to temporarily close Michigan Avenue and redirect all traffic through the Talladega Drive gate.)

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