This year's Fergus Truck Show was, by all accounts, a disappointment. And for once we can't blame it on the weather. One of Canada's greatest trucking events has lost its way in recent years, straying too far from its original roots as a truck...
This year’s Fergus Truck Show was, by all accounts, a disappointment. And for once we can’t blame it on the weather. One of Canada’s greatest trucking events has lost its way in recent years, straying too far from its original roots as a truck show and focusing too much of its attention on becoming one of Ontario’s grandest festivals.
Some big name entertainment acts have graced the stage of the Fergus Truck Show in recent years and it proved successful at drawing from beyond the traditional trucking audience.
But what happens when the entertainment acts are no longer a big draw and the truckers begin to feel alienated and find something better to do with their weekend? You get this year’s Fergus Truck Show.
Top it of with an early morning visit from the RCMP, who seized counterfeit merchandise from several vendors and you’ve got the recipe for discontent.
There were more flies than people at this year’s Fergus Truck Show and maybe it was symbolic; this year’s show was merely a rotting corpse of its former self.
Having said all that, there’s still time to get it right and revive a show that was once a mainstay on the trucking industry calendar. Let’s remember the show is run entirely by volunteers and they have nothing but good intentions. They erred in raising entrance fees and I think they realize that. As one neighbouring vendor told us, visitors were “leaving all their money at the gate, they have nothing left to spend inside.”
Last year’s truck show resulted in similar grumblings and I wrote a blog at the time called ‘Let’s not bury the Fergus Truck Show before it’s dead.’
It’s now one step closer to being dead, but I am still hopeful it can return to its former glory.
Sure, many vendors swore that this year’s show would be their last. And if all those who said that meant it, the show may not go on. But people were speaking emotionally under the hot July sun and it’s still possible they will have a change of heart.
Hopefully organizers will return the show to its roots, with a greater emphasis on the trucks and their owners and keeping in mind the enormous pressures today’s truckers are under, entrance fees will be brought back in line with what it is – a truck show. This isn’t Lollapalooza, folks, it’s a truck show.
I have faith in the organizers to get the show back on track. They seem receptive to feedback – good and bad – and willing to make whatever changes are necessary to rejuvenate the show.
So, as an eternal optimist, I’ll repeat my message from last year: Let’s not bury the show before it’s dead. If there’s an effort and willingness to return the show to its roots and make it more trucker-friendly, then I know we’ll be there and I hope more of you are, too.