Country singer Craig Morgan headlines MATS 2016 concert lineup

By Land Line staff | Monday, March 14, 2016

Country music recording artist Craig Morgan will headline the annual free concert at the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show.

Best known for his Top 10 hits like “Bonfire,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” and “International Harvester,” Morgan will be the featured performer on Friday, April 1, at the Freedom Hall in the Kentucky Exposition Center. The show starts immediately after the conclusion of the Friday edition of MATS. Morgan was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008.

The concert is sponsored by Mobil Delvac heavy-duty engine oil. Complimentary tickets will be distributed while supplies last at the Mobil Delvac Booth No. 18160 in the North Wing during show hours.

The Mid-America Trucking Show, scheduled for March 31-April 2 in Louisville, is the premier heavy-duty truck venue.

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

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. There is no charge for 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 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, the 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 30, 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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