DU QUOIN — The annual celebration of horsepower is rolling into the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds.
The 34th annual General Tire Street Machine Nationals fires up Friday and could return for years to come.
“We plan on being back for sure,” said Matthew Louck, Family Events vice president of marketing and communication. “We have been in talks already and we are looking at renewing our contract while we are in town.”
Louck said Family Events renews its contracts in three-year intervals and the company signed a three-year deal with the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in October 2014.
“We want to continue to make this an annual event,” Louck added. “Our goal is to get another three years, and at this time, I see no reason for it not to happen.”
Participants and spectators can expect many of the same staples from shows past, such as the Performance Marketplace, Legends of Pro Street display, Plaza Tire Burnout Contest and Miss Street Machine Contest.
The demolition derby returns for a second straight year at 6 p.m. on Saturday night.
Hot Rodding’s premier pinstriper Von Hot Rod will be meeting fans from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. His work has been featured in numerous publications and he was inducted into the Cruisin’ Hall-of-Fame in 2007.
The "Nats" has become an event for the whole family over the years and there will be plenty of exhibits for children including pictures with Marvel’s Thor and Spider-Man on Saturday and Sunday.
“Participant numbers have been steady, and our car count was higher,” Louck said of last year’s show. “We are on track to be ahead of that again this year. Each year we have been up in registration and at this point we are up about 5 percent this year.”
The Street Machine Nationals run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Advanced tickets can be purchased for $10 at Black Diamond Harley Davidson in Marion or online at www.streetmachinenationals.net/buy-tickets-to-street-machine-nationals-du-quoin.
Tickets are $15 at the gate and children nine and under are admitted free with a paid adult.
The Street Machine Nationals debuted in 1977 at Indianapolis. In 1986, the show took place for the first time in Du Quoin where it was held for 13 years until 1998. It made a much anticipated return to Southern Illinois in 2013 and has once again became a summertime favorite and boost to the local economy.
All makes, models and years of street machines, street rods, trucks and sport utility vehicles are invited to participate.
“Every year our goal is to make this an annual event,” Louck said. “We want people to be able to take their vacation in advance and know they can count on this show year after year.”