Truck show opens Friday in Rantoul

Truck show opens Friday in Rantoul

RANTOUL — Now in its fifth year, the Topgun Largecar Shootout has grown annually.

Organizers for the 2012 show at the Rantoul airport expect more than 100 semi trucks to be on hand.

The event will also include a car show hosted by The Country Cruisers and a new event, sky-diving demonstrations.

Topgun will open Friday and run through Sunday morning.

Tom Reitz of Gifford, an organizer for the show, said Topgun started in 2008 with about 30 semi trucks.

"It's just going to be bigger and better," Reitz said. "More trucks coming. We had 92 last year. There will be well over 100 this year."

Reitz, owner-operator of Reitz Trucking, Gifford, said the turnout could number from 125 to 160 trucks from as far away as Canada, Oklahoma and Virginia.

Reitz said many of the trucks are lavishly appointed.

"The caliber of the trucks — you could have three or four trucks and have a million dollars worth of iron," he said. "We're going to have over a hundred like that."

One attraction for the show is there is no admission fee. The show is funded by sponsors and vendors.

"We would love to break even," Reitz said. "We've come close."

Among those on hand again this year will be representatives from Chrome Truck Mafia, which formerly hosted "Trick My Truck" on cable TV channel CMT.

Registration and truck parking for the show opens at noon Friday. The beer garden also opens at that time.

At dusk on Friday one of the featured events of the show — the parade of lights — begins. The illuminated rigs will drive to Thomasboro and back via U.S. 45. Spectators are welcome.

Saturday will include a full day of activities beginning at 9 a.m. with registration for the shootout as well as the kiddie pull. The first of three skydiving demonstrations featuring Illinois Skydiving Center will also begin at 9.

The beer garden opens at noon as does the kiddie pull and another skydiving demonstration.

Car show awards will be presented at 4 p.m.

At 6 p.m, the third and final skydiving demonstration will be presented.

The band GTO and the Glasspacks will perform at 8 p.m.

DJ Bob Bass will provide music throughout the three-day event.

On Sunday the show opens at 9 a.m.

Truck awards and mini largecar awards will be presented at 11:30 a.m. Mini large cars are 1/64th-scale model semis — another popular event.

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