While Deniliquin may be known for its Ute’s, October 28th is reserved solely for its trucks.
After a three-year hiatus complicated by COVID and flooding, the Rotary Club of Deniliquin’s Truck Show and Industry Expo is gearing up for another fantastic year.
Founder and executive of the Deniliquin Truck Show John Creenaune says this is expected to be their biggest year yet.
“We were devastated last year when only six days out from the show, we had to cancel due to floods.
“But, if the weather holds out this year, we are expecting anywhere from 1,500-2,000 people.”
Held at the Deniliquin Race Club on Racecourse Road from 10am till late, admission is $10 per person, with kids under 15 free.
Creenaune expects there will be over 100 trucks in attendance.
“We have people coming from Gippsland and all-around Victoria. There is even a man coming from QLD who will spend the whole weekend here.”
“We never know what kind of trucks will make their way down, but I know a few farmers who will be bringing their old farm trucks. There will be a lot of newer trucks too.”
A major drawcard for the event is the Truck Show judging, with 13 categories ranging from Best Farm Truck to Best Truck of the Show.
“Something that we do a bit differently is having some of the winners chosen by the people. People in attendance at the show can have a say to ensure we are being fair and it gets them involved,” says Creenaune.
The little ones are even well catered for with an animal nursery, rides and kids craft area.
Treat the family to a feed from some great food stalls, score yourself a classic showbag and even witness a tug of war between some truckies.
Making it’s Deniliquin debut will be a truck driving simulator which emulates what it would be like to drive and manoeuvre a heavy vehicle.
“You hop right in and it looks like you’re driving a truck. It’s going to be very interesting,” Creenaune says.
Industry exhibition stands will be set up around the event, showcasing all the latest technologies, gadgets, and industry-designed products.
A crowd favourite is the Sponsor Auction with some fantastic bargains on offer.
Creenaune says there will be some classic items, household fridges, memorabilia and more up for grabs.
“Our sponsors really outdo themselves for each year’s show auction.”
The inspiration for founding the Truck Show came when Creenaune moved to Deniliquin in 2012.
“I’ve been in the transport industry most of my life. I fell in love with trucks at a young age and as I got older, I loved meeting some of the trucking legends,” he says.
“When I moved to Deni in 2012, I saw all these trucks coming in and thought, why aren’t we recognising these people? These legends?
“We decided that we needed a truck show, and an awards night for the Wall of Fame.”
Annually, during the Deniliquin Truck Show and Industry Expo, the committee unveil the latest Wall of Fame inductees at a glamorous Gala Dinner.
They say this is the time to applaud the achievements and enduring influence of remarkable individuals in the transport industry.
Engraved plaques are placed on the Wall of Fame, which finds its home at the Davidson St Rest Area in Deniliquin North.
Creenaune says Deniliquin boasts a mighty transport history that deserves to be honoured.
“When looking into it, the amount of history that started in Deniliquin was incredible,” he says.
“Everybody comes through Deni, and there are legends of this area.”
He says, “transport is an industry that won’t die, but the history of it will if we don’t celebrate it.”
He says they have a “strong and dedicated committee that plan year round to make each years show a brilliant success”.
“Our mission is to highlight, celebrate, commemorate and memorialise those locals who are and have been our local transport industry.”