MATS 2016: Off-site at Papa John's parking lot

By Land Line staff | Thursday, February 18, 2016

When truckers are not strolling down the aisles of the Kentucky Expo Center, you may find them hanging out at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium parking lot

The Mid-America Trucking Show, scheduled for March 31-April 2 in Louisville, is the premier heavy-duty truck venue, and managers are expecting tens of thousands of special guests: truckers. Show management has a contract with the University of Louisville for trucker guests to park in and to use the parking lot at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium at no cost – which is cool. But there are rules.

No activities are scheduled at Papa John’s until the show at the Expo Center wraps up for the day. The Mid-America Trucking Show closes at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and at 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

No vendors are allowed to actively sell anything on the lot, but there will be plenty of food and coffee served up free by volunteers who set up “mess halls” and little cafes everywhere. No charge on the food, but donations are appreciated. 

Shuttle buses to and from the Kentucky Exposition Center are also provided for anyone parking at Papa John’s thanks to TravelCenters of America. Shuttle service starts one hour before the show and runs one hour after the show each day.

The word is that events at Papa John’s won’t be as programmed as they have been, but the camaraderie will be nonstop with “open mic” every night for talented truckers. Expect karaoke, guitar playin’ and Joey Holiday on stage. Unlike past years, the OOIDA tour truck and pilot Jon Osburn won’t be camping out at Papa John’s, but you can find them in the show truck lot.

OOIDA Members Buz and Laurie Scutt will be there with their simulator. You can join OOIDA or renew your dues and partake of their famous Papa John’s trucker menu.

TravelCenters of America is once again an official sponsor of the Papa John’s parking lot this year and will again have a temperature-controlled shower trailer. TA & Petro are again sponsoring hot showers for CDL holders. The temperature-controlled shower trailer is powered by the Dream Team of Clean. 

Like last year, the TA & Petro shower trailer is conveniently located at the Papa John’s parking lot. You can schedule it at the shower tent or go by the TA & Petro Stopping Center Booth 19156 at the Expo Center.

Forgot to pack enough toiletries? Don’t worry; you’re in luck. TravelCenters will provide a free souvenir towel and soap with each shower appointment, while supplies last. The shower trailer will be operating Thursday, March 31, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, April 1, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday, April 2, from 8 a.m. to noon. The last showers of the day will be scheduled 30 minutes before closing. 

For Platinum UltraOne members, showers are free. For standard UltraOne members, it’s $3 (cash). Nonmembers can shower for $8. If you sign up for an UltraOne card at the TA and Petro Booth 19156, it’s $5. You must have a valid CDL.  

After the show at the Expo Center wraps up on Thursday, March 31, Trucking Solutions Group will gather for their annual Driver Health Walk. Linda Caffee says the walk will be held at Papa John’s as it was last year. Walkers will meet at the stage at 7:30 p.m. to walk to Churchill Downs and back. That’s about 1.5 miles total. 

Early Saturday morning, biscuits and gravy will be served with donations going to the St. Christopher Fund. On Sunday morning, Chaplain Joe Hunter will conduct the annual church service.

Show management has released new guidelines for Papa John’s. Note there is a new map due to the new demands from the University of Louisville.

Because of the organization happening early in show week at the parking lot, it is suggested that Wednesday, March 25, is a better day for your arrival. And heads up: All trucks must enter and exit through Gate D, as it is the only gate wide enough for Class 8 trucks.

Show management expects that all attendees will clean up after themselves. This means that the lot should be left on Sunday as it was found on Wednesday.

There will be security and parking attendants in the lot to ensure that vehicles are parked efficiently, to ensure that the correct entrance and exit is used, and to ensure that the shuttle bus can get in and out to deliver attendees to the show.
 
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