One of the annual rites of spring in the American trucking industry is the Mid-America Trucking Show — a.k.a. MATS — that opens this week in the home of fast horses and smooth bourbon: Louisville.
If you’re going, here are seven things you need to know about this three-day gathering of anything and everything to do with trucks, trucking and truckers.
1. Location: The trucking faithful will gather at the Kentucky Expo Center, which is located at 937 Phillips Lane.
2. Hours: Thursday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
3. Parking: At the Expo Center itself parking is $8 per day for passenger vehicles and $30 for tractor/trailers. GPS Coordinates: 38.192998, -85.740523. There is also free tractor/trailer parking available at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (4146 Park Boulevard) with a shuttle to the show.
4. What You’ll See: MATS boasts some 1,000 exhibitors filling 1.2 million square feet of the Expo Center. If it has to do with trucks and trucking, it most likely will be on display, so wear your walking shoes.
5. What You’ll Hear: On Friday at 7 p.m., MATS and Mobil Delvac present a free concert with The Marshall Tucker Band. Opening act is singer/songwriter Chris Hennessee. Doors of Freedom Hall open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets available at the Mobil Delvac Booth #18160 in the North Wing during normal show hours.
6. Trucks. Trucks. And, more trucks. MATS celebrates the 26th anniversary of the PKY Truck Beauty Championship this year. This gathering of custom and working trucks is held in Lot “J” behind the West Wing of the Expo Center. Awards will be handed out Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. the South Wing lobby, Room B-104.
7. What It Costs. If you registered online before Feb. 25, congratulations, you’re all set and scored a freebie. If not, tickets at the door are $10.