Kelly Barker drove south from Bateman’s Bay in his ‘devilish’ 685hp Mack Super-Liner for the big Alexandra Truck Ute and Rod Show.
IT WAS 5am on June 12 and the Victorian town of Alexandra awoke to the sound of trucks making their way through the usually quiet main streets.
An invasion of sorts, however this was the 20th running of the annual Alexandra Truck Rod and Ute Show. And it was going to be a big one.
Held regularly on the Sunday over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, this year’s event was one of the best.
The weather was kind as well. While most of Australia copped a drenching, the morning mist around Alexandra lifted to reveal a cool but clear day, the sunshine adding an extra gleam to the polished rigs.
The trucks, rods and utes are a welcome intrusion for local Alexandra businesses, especially pubs and clubs.
This year organisers extended the show, which kicked off on the Friday evening with a ‘Stars of Country’ concert featuring Sony recording artist Adam Harvey and his band.
The Victorian Truck Drivers’ Memorial Service, now a regular precursor to the main event, was held on the Saturday, with a gala dinner following that night.
While the truck show was an excuse for owners and drivers to spend a weekend away, as well as showing off their gleam machines, others used the opportunity to advertise their businesses.
Alexandra does not charge an entry fee, however the town’s businesses, churches and local service clubs benefit from the patronage of the visitors.
One of the local groups, the Oasis Community Church, kept the masses well fed. The church’s Stephen Turner was part of a roster of three shifts of around 25 people involved in raising funds on the day.
“We love to see all the faces around town, to help the community and to be included in one of the town’s best attended events,” Stephen says.
The church was hoping to raise over $2000, which will go towards upgrading their own cooking facilities used to help out at other community activities.
“The truck show is a great event for the community, from the scouts to the churches,” Stephen says, adding that the church also works with the Dame Pattie Menzies Centre.
“It’s a great time for the town; the buzz and excitement and the weather is fantastic … someone is looking after us,” Stephen smiles.
It was a show of contrasts, with the regular quilt exhibition adding a softer side to the heavy metal on display.
The Victorian Woodchop Championships were also held on Sunday, as well as wood turning demonstrations and the fundraising auction attracted fierce bidding.
Meanwhile, the kids were entertained with a large sideshow alley, and craft stalls and food venues up and down the main street did a roaring trade.
It’s easy to see why the Alexandra Truck Ute and Rod Show has become one of the most popular road transport events on the calendar. Mark down June 11, 2017 for the next big show.
The trucks arriving for an early Sunday morning start