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July 10, 2019 12:00 PM, EDT

Walcott Truckers Jamboree to Welcome Over 40,000 Attendees

Iowa 80 Truckstop The Walcott Truckers Jamboree will be held at the Iowa 80 Truckstop. (Iowa 80 Group)

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The Walcott Truckers Jamboree began in 1979 as a small event in the parking lot of the Iowa 80 Truckstop. It’s since grown to become a massive three-day extravaganza, drawing more than 40,000 truck enthusiasts nationwide.

The 40th anniversary event will be held July 11-13 at the Iowa 80 Truckstop, I-80 Exit 284. This year marks its 40th anniversary, and Iowa 80 Group is pulling out all the stops.

Firework show at Iowa 80 Truckstop

Firework show at the 2018 Jamboree (Iowa 80 Group)

Festivities will include concerts, carnival games, firework shows, an antique truck display and a super truck beauty contest.

Heather DeBaillie, vice president of marketing for Iowa 80 Group, said the purpose of the jamboree is to recognize truck drivers. In particular, the antique truck display and the super truck beauty contest give people the chance to interact with drivers and learn more about the industry.

“It’s something that they don’t see every day,” DeBaillie said. “I mean, they see them on the road, but they don’t get to be up close and personal with trucks.”

Walcott 2019 Jamboree Map by on Scribd

The event is free. Iowa 80 Group is able to put on the Walcott Truckers Jamboree every year with help from sponsors and vendors who buy exhibit space.

The festivities will begin July 11, when attendees can participate in the Trucker Olympics. The games typically include competition such as a steering wheel cover ring toss or running a steer tire through an obstacle course of cones.

One unique event Iowa 80 Group is bringing back to the jamboree is the Trucker’s Best Friend Pet Contest. DeBaillie said that all pets are welcome. In past years, they’ve seen dogs, cats and even ferrets. Categories include best trick, owner lookalike and best dressed.

Iowa 80 is the world’s largest truckstop, sitting on 220 acres, but accommodating more than 40,000 people who will attend the jamboree is still a challenge.

“It’s a lot of logistics, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything,” DeBaillie said. “It’s a great event, and we love doing it to celebrate drivers.”