Thread: i'm in VA too
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Old 06-14-2004, 02:20 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Warrenton, Virginia
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By Tim Tepas

Up to this point, we have given suggestions on how to build a custom vehicle right the first time and how to start your own car & truck club. Once you have built that custom ride and moved forward to organize a club, a natural progression to host an event develops. Every weekend in towns across America, successful scavenger hunts, poker runs, cruise nights and car shows are thrown. Although many events are the product of large clubs with years of experience, these are not a guarantee of having a successful event, nor a requirement.

If you’re interested in hosting an event, you must first decide what type of event your club would like to put on. Most clubs start off with a local one day show & shine, however if this is your first attempt at running an event, perhaps you should get your feet wet with either a scavenger hunt, poker run or cruise night.


Scavenger hunts are very basic. Starting at a designated point, teams of 1 or more people per vehicle must gather as many items on a provided list within a specified time limit. The team that collects the most items within the allotted time and returns to a final rally point wins.

Poker runs are driving road rallies where teams of 1 or more people are given a clue to reach a destination from a starting point. Upon deciphering the clues and arriving at the checkpoint, a playing card is given to the team, along with a new set of clues to reach the next checkpoint. The team continues until 5 playing cards are obtained and they reach the final destination where all teams meet. The winning team is declared by the best poker hand collected from the 5 playing cards.

A cruise night is not what the name implies. No real driving is required. This event is a nighttime gathering of custom vehicles and people at a drive-in restaurant or local hangout. Participants casually display their vehicles in an attempt to win an award in different vehicle classes, similar to a show & shine. Amusing games are normally planned in conjunction with the cruise night, along with a disc jockey or live entertainment. Awards are handed out at a ceremony at the end of the night by the host club after either judging the vehicles themselves, or spectators have chosen popular choice vehicles.

Show & shine events can be either simple or elaborate, depending on the complexity of the design. The fundamental aspect of a show & shine is an assembly of custom vehicles that are displayed in competition for awards and prizes. The event can be held in nearly any parking lot or grassy field and may include games, a disc jockey, vendors, a raffle or other features. Planning a successful one day show & shine is a big undertaking, and guidelines to help have a successful event are listed below.

Three day truck runs are complete entertainment packages that can include a show & shine, a raffle, games, vendors, food concessions, camping, disc jockeys and much more that encompasses a three day time period. During the three day event, the host club is responsible for the protection and well being of all attendees at the event. Details to consider include 24 hour security, first aid, restroom & shower points, adequate food supplies, event clean-up, staffing, communications, transportation and a location large enough for as many as 5,000 people. A truck run should never be attempted by a club hosting their first event, and a great deal of planning should be worked out before ever taking the challenge of hosting one of these monster events.


Several decisions should be made right away to get things started. First, choose what type of event your club would like to throw. Next, come up with a catchy name like "The Hunt of ‘99" or "Obsessive Behavior's Poker Run." Finally, choose a date, time & location of the event. Take into consideration any participants traveling from nearby cities or states when you choose the date and time.


For a scavenger hunt or poker run, the location will be used as a meeting spot. A starting location and ending location need to be designated. Participants can start and end at the same location, but ample parking and seating must be available for all vehicles in attendance and people playing the game. Usually a neighborhood restaurant, favorite hangout or custom car & truck shop work well. By including a custom shop in the event, you may be able to negotiate a full or partial sponsorship with the owner for trophies or prizes in exchange for bringing vehicle enthusiasts to their door. Restaurants may also offer deals to the host club for bringing hungry people to their meeting room. Be sure to choose a large enough meeting room for twice the amount of people you expect. No one enjoys standing for long periods to find out if they’ve won.

Shows and cruise nights require a different type of event site. A large show area must be designated for the many vehicles you expect to attract. Either grass or pavement will suffice, but keep in mind the task of parking each vehicle. If you are able, select a site that has easy access to pull vehicles straight into their show spaces. Other considerations for a show site include ample parking for spectators, available food & beverage and restrooms, shade or nighttime lighting, cost and availability. Just as with a site for scavenger hunts and poker runs, you may want to include a restaurant or custom shop in the selection of the site to gain a partial or full sponsorship.


With a time, date and location chosen, decide what type of entertainment and features you would like to include in your day of fun. A good happening will have more to offer than just a gathering of people and vehicles. Little nuances like games, a disc jockey or a raffle will make the day a good memory for your audience rather than a time to forget. But be careful not to have an overly complicated event. Simple events cost less to produce, require fewer staff members and will usually yield fewer headaches. With time and experience, you and your club can add bigger features such as a car audio competition or hydraulic suspension hop-off
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