Finding a great pickup truck convention or exhibition in the U.S. can actually be difficult. Typically any kind of major truck show focuses more on big rigs, and there’s a distinctly different feel to a “trucker convention” than one for ordinary trucks. That said, there are some pretty cool shows that happen around the country and are worth looking into, both for the cars you’ll see and because they actually happen at awesome locations you can enjoy when you’re not admiring the pickups.
SEMA Show – Las Vegas, Nevada
The SEMA Show is perhaps the biggest exhibition of its kind that deals largely (though not exclusively) with pickup trucks. It takes place at the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center and divides cars and products into various sections such that attendees can focus on what they want to see, and potentially buy. There’s typically more of a focus on newer cars and trucks, meaning it’s a good place to go to see hundreds of the latest pickups from top manufacturers. And naturally, it doesn’t hurt that the exhibition is in Las Vegas, because as much time as you may spend around the trucks, it’s tough to engineer an entire vacation for the convention itself. Activity on the Vegas Strip more than makes up enough fun and excitement for your downtime, whether it means exploring the famous resorts, enjoying specific attractions, or even just walking around in one of America’s strangest and most interesting cities.
New Jersey Truck Invasion – Wildwood, New Jersey
This is a newer event that’s been running for just a couple of years, but it may already be one of the more pleasant car conventions of any kind in the U.S. Wildwood is one of the prettier areas of New Jersey, right on the beach (near the renowned Cape May) and with its own boardwalk – which, incidentally, is where this “invasion” occurs. It’s exclusive to 2wd and 4wd trucks and jeeps, with the 2wd vehicles displayed on the boardwalk and the 4wd ones on the beach itself. Wildwood, meanwhile, makes for a decent vacation in and of itself, both because of the beach and a sort of miniature Atlantic City casino culture. Perhaps because of casinos’ association with the Jersey coastline, or perhaps because the online games have flourished statewide, Atlantic City is no longer the only hot spot. So while you can drive north to A.C. when you’re done with the trucks, you can also stay right in town for a nice combination of beach getaway and casino vacation.
Lone Star Throwdown – Conroe, Texas
The Lone Star Throwdown is described as a “Texas Mega Show” and this past year roped in 2,000 trucks to be on display at what’s essentially a big open field in Conroe, Texas, near Houston. It’s a very pure exhibition in that it’s all about the truck and the various prizes they’re judged for, with few side attractions or other kinds of vehicles vying for the spotlight. So in a way, for the pickup purists, it may actually be the best option on this list even as it’s the simplest. As for what else there may be to do, Conroe doesn’t have a whole lot to offer the tourist beyond some good local food, but it’s right next to Houston, which has been a city on the rise for years now. You’ll find plenty to get up to there to break up your time at the convention.
This post written by a Guest Author.