The countdown is on for Alexandra Truck, Ute & Rod Show

Drop by Grant St in Alexandra on a normal week day and you’ll find a bustling country town with locals going about their business supporting local cafes, clothes shops, book shops and agricultural supply stores. Drop by on the Sunday of the King’s Birthday long weekend and it’s a whole other story.

To be found 130km north-east of Melbourne, at an elevation of 221m, Alexandra is a central hub for the surrounding area. It’s an area steeped in history – where timber yards and timber cutting drove its early commercial success, and where tourists now know it as a stepping off point to Victoria’s high country.

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This year the local Country Fire Authority celebrates its 150th year of existence, and the main street features National Trust-listed buildings including the original Post Office, National Bank and Law Courts.

The Timber Tramway Museum captures the town’s early years, rich with artefacts and stories from a bygone era, and the Goulburn River flows nearby offering scenic views and the opportunity to fish or play on the water.

A little further afield is Lake Eildon, a popular destination for water skiers and boating enthusiasts, a place where families are known to camp for a month at a time, every year, generation after generation.

It’s not too often you’ll see prime movers reverse parked outside the Shamrock Hotel

And, for those in the transport industry, Alexandra has also become synonymous with a grand gathering of trucks, cool nights, fire pits, beers and an annual get together to mark the coming of winter and the middle of a long weekend holiday in June each year.

2024 marks the 27th time the good people of Alexandra have turned over their streets on the Sunday of the Queen’s (now King’s) Birthday long weekend to all manner of vehicles and thousands of visitors who turn out to see them shine.

The heroes of the show are the prime movers that roll into place in the early hours of Sunday morning, three abreast for as far as the eye can see on Grant St.

The utes, adorned with huge aerials, spotlights, stickers, and bullbars line up further down the road, closer to the Rotary Park, and the local hot rod club rolls in with a collection of stunning machines, all gleaming chrome, big fat tyres and classic leather trims.

Keeping the trucks, utes and hot rods dry and shining on the bitumen roads is popular with drivers and visitors alike

Last year’s event drew a crowd of 15,000 people, including the wood chopping crowd who attend to celebrate the skills of axe men and women vying for prizes of up to $500 at the chopping grounds in Rotary Park in what’s usually the last competition of the woodchop season.

Long time supporter and member of the organising committee Gordon Simpson says the 2024 version of the show has come together well. 

Simpson says the interest from local businesses, transport associations and those affiliated with the show and shine aspect of the truck show will see a few new trade sites added to the central commercial hub of the event, including the likes of PearlCraft, Steel on Wheels and Campbells.

“We’re trying to be an industry show, promoting people who are putting back into the industry, to make it a better industry,” he says.

“We have great support from everyone in town and it’s a good boost for business before we go into winter.”

The annual charity auction and raffle draw always draws a crowd to the main stage

On that front, the team from Transport Women Australia Limited will have a stand, sharing all the reasons why the transport industry offers fantastic job opportunities for everyone.

For many truckies the real event kicks off on Saturday morning when they gather at Yarck at 11am for a barbecue before the Alexandra Truck Run sets off at Noon to arrive at Alexandra in time for a 2pm service at the Victorian Truck Drivers Memorial in Rotary Park.

The big day itself kicks off at 4.30am on Sunday as stallholders and vehicles are expertly guided into place by a hardy bunch of volunteers and professionals who provide directions and assistance for show participants and show goers alike throughout the day.

The smell of sausages and bacon sizzling is guaranteed to start early as local charity groups take up the offer of providing food and fundraising for their causes, and Alexandra’s cafes call in as many staff as they can to keep the crowds well feed and caffeinated.

Shopkeepers in the city’s heart throw open their doors on the day too, providing visitors with the chance to sample local goods and show their support for the community.

Popular country musician Paul Costa will belt out his hits on Sunday

The heart of the event comes in the form of the main stage, on Grant St, which plays host to live music from 10am to 4pm, interrupted only by a charity auction at 2pm and the announcement of truck show trophies at 3.30pm.

On that point, judging starts at 9.30am with independent judges drawn from the transport industry for the truck side, and from the enthusiast cohort for the rods and utes.

With the trophies done, the show winds down around 4pm and orderly procession of vehicles begin to make their way out of town, offering plenty of photographic opportunities for those in know who take up positions on the main routes out.

The 2023 event saw 350 trucks on display along with 32 hot rods, and dozens of utes, and this year is shaping up to be at least as big.

For the families, there’s a kid’s corner of sorts with showbags, rides and show games, to add an extra dimension to the day.

On the music front Melbourne musician Brooke Taylor will be there with her band The Poison Spitting Gin Queens, offering folk, blues and country style songs from her growing list of albums.

Multi-award-winning country musician Paul Costa will take turns on the stage bringing his own set list of popular songs to the table to keep the crowd entertained.

The show, which offers free entry to the public, could not happen without the support of a long list of sponsors, led by major sponsors Larsen’s Truck Sales, Hallam Truck Centre, Simpsons Fuel, Multispares Truck Parts, HG Tyre Group, FoodWorks Alexandra, Fineblade Concrete Construction Civil Earthworks and Traffic Management and Murrundindi Shire Council.

Trucks need to be registered to attend the show, at a cost of $60 per truck. Hot Rods and Utes are $45 each. Register online at www.alexandratruckshow.com.au

Profits from the event are put back into the local community in the form of grants to local charities. Last year $33,000 was raised and distributed from the day.

Be sure to get your tickets for this year’s raffles – be quick, as numbers are limited

Schedule

June 8:

11am Yarck barbecue 

Noon Yarck to Alexandra Truck Run

2pm Truck Driver’s Memorial Service at Rotary Park 

June 9:

4.30am Stallholders and vehicles muster for bump in

9.30am Truck, ute and hot rod judging begins

10am Live music starts on
Main Stage – wood chop starts at Rotary Park

2pm Charity auction and raffle draw on Main Stage

3.30pm Truck trophies announced

4pm Show starts to wind down – trucks roll out

*** If you’re coming along to the show, be sure to drop by the Larsen’s Truck Sales stand and say hi to the Deals on Wheels team!

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