One of its biggest and best yet, Animated Attractions' annual Slam Session car and truck show drew huge crowds and more than 800 vehicles to the Pitt County Fairgrounds in Greenville, North Carolina. This year's event was not only considerably bigger than last year's, but also gratifying because of the wholehearted support from both the town of Greenville and the local sheriff's office. And it's easy to see why.
The club has a reputation for solid automotive entertainment, and its shows have a large following of enthusiastic drivers who are always ready to party. The Saturday night entertainment is as much an attraction as the trucks and always offers a little something for everybody, plus a whole lot of something else. In addition to the Battle Rap contests and loads of giveaways from the stage, the hunk, bikini, and wet T-shirt contests made sure everyone enjoyed the festivities. Before the party ended, most of the girls in the crowd had added significantly to their bead collection, while digital battery sales were brisk the next morning. The Saturday night after-party in Greenville wasn't limited to just one club; it occurred in virtually every hotel in town. Secure camping facilities were available on site if you wanted to save a few bucks and had the endurance for a 48-hour party. The city of Greenville and sheriff's team had a great time, enjoying the crowds, handling security, and providing traffic control. Merchants at the show and in town were pleased with the turnout and looking forward to next year. Even the weather cooperated, with conditions just cloudy enough to keep the warm Carolina sun off a certain vintage photographer's head.
In addition to the large collection of vehicles that filled the front and back fields of the fairgrounds, several of the buildings were also used for display. The stereo bass-off competition by Mike Barfield had lots of window rattlers in line, with trophies presented to the winners. The hydro competition was a big money event, sending four First Place winners home with $500 in their pockets, four Second Place finishers with $250, and four more Third Place guys with $100 each. Jamie Cici, a veteran of the circuit from Southern Star Customs, sent his high-bouncing green Mazda up 48 inches, high enough to win the Double Pump Truck category and set a new Slam Session record.
The switchmen weren't the only ones walking away happy. With more than 500 trophies presented at the awards ceremony, plenty of the participants went home with new gold packed in the bed as a year-long reminder to put Slam Session '05 on their show calendar. Although Jack and Bonnie Christian had trouble squeezing the 6-foot prize into their Best Truck of Show-winning Jeep CJ-7,the $500 in cash was very easy to pack. The couple's 327-equipped four-wheeler was loaded with a custom stereo, paint, and chrome. Having enough room for the trophy wasn't an issue for Matt Rossey. His high-altitude '00 Ford Excursion, which made the long-distance run from Royersford, Pennsylvania, had plenty of needed space inside. The orange-and-black lifted 4x4 was filled with stereo and custom details, but had just enough room left to haul away the 8-foot trophy for overall Best of Show, while the $1,000 cash prize made the trip home that much sweeter. Jonathan Cash also collected goodies, adding a 6-footer to his trophy accumulation as well as $500 for his radical custom Acura. The winnings weren't just green and gold, however. Although Robbie Brown didn't receive a trophy or any pictures of dead presidents, he left the event happier than most after winning Animated Attractions' free trip to Las Vegas, complete with four days and three nights in a major Las Vegas hotel and first-class air transportation. Did ya want chips with that? Want to bet that next year's Slam Session will be on Robbie's can't-miss list?
Animated Attractions celebrated its 15th anniversary at the event, taking the stage for a brief moment during the award ceremony to thank the crowd and give us the opportunity for a rare group photo. The members of the club are always moving about at high speed, ensuring everything goes smoothly and making it hard to take a picture. If you'd like to meet this high-energy group of truckers and possibly take home a trophy or one of the bigger prizes, check out the Animated Attractions Web site (www.animatedattractionscc.com) for information on the rest of this year's show schedule.