DU QUOIN -- The "Ultimate Picnic of Power" -- aka -- the General Tires Street Machine Nationals rolls into the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, June 21-23 for the 36th year of bringing the performance car community together. Special guests, Marvel superheroes Captain America (Saturday) and Spiderman (Sunday) will be in attendance, meeting fans and posing for photos.
The Street Machine Nationals feature stunning high-performance street machines, hot rods, street trucks and the best dream machines from coast-to-coast, all on display. With acres and acres of shady and manicured grounds, complete with a 20-acre lake, the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds provides countless miles for cruising.
Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi describes the show as "a nice event" for not only the city, but the entire region.
"It's a boost in our sales tax revenue for three days," Alongi said. "And it benefits bigger towns like Carbondale, Marion and Mount Vernon, which have more hotels and restaurants."
Alongi said the event has become quite family-friendly with "a different clientele of people" attending the event in recent years than 20 years ago.
"I would encourage people to go check it out. There's a little something for people of all ages," the mayor said.
Along with all of the street machines on display, attendees can shop the Performance Marketplace, which showcases the latest aftermarket parts, along with industry insiders and experts on hand to chat with. Attendees can also actively engage and show the true performance of their car in the General Tire Burnout Contest and the Dyno Challenge. For those looking for hard to find parts and pieces for their rides, the Egyptian Antique Auto Club will be hosting a Swap Meet again this year.
Numerous Pro-Judged Awards will be handed out in a variety of categories during the Street Machine Nationals, including Industry and Legend's Choice Awards as part of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Show-n-Shine awards. Also, the Miss Street Machine Contest will grace the Main Stage. SEMA will once again present its Battle of the Builder "Young Guns" program for builder's ages 27-younger, with a trip to the SEMA Show on the line for the winner.
The always popular Demolition Derby will be held on Saturday as well at the Main Grandstand at 6 p.m., with an increased purse this year for competitors. Admission to the Demo Derby is included with the price of a Street Machine Nationals ticket.
To purchase tickets in advance online for the General Tire Street Machine Nationals and to register a vehicle, visit www.streetmachinenationals.net. Ticket fees apply for online orders.
Discount tickets are available at participating O'Reilly Auto Parts locations, Black Diamond Harley-Davidson and Roadhouse Harley-Davidson stores.
At the gate, tickets are $15 (ages 11-over), with kids (ages 10-under) free with a paid adult.
• Managing Editor John Homan contributed to this story.