The year was 1996. It was the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June, foggiest month of the year in the mountains north east of Melbourne.
Alexandra is a timber town. Sure there was gold, sure there is farming be it beef, trout, turf or cherries. Sure there are fantastic natural attractions in the surrounding mountains of snow and rivers. However it is timber that keeps the town humming year after year.
Timber towns are sleepy in winter. It is too wet in the mountains for harvesting so all the machinery has to be brought out and the big timber jinkers lie dormant in the neighbouring towns.
A group of local businessmen are lamenting about how quiet it is and how few people are in town. Then the idea hits them; “how about a truck show?” We could get all the loggers to polish up their rigs and display them. “But it’s too wet in winter; all the trucks would bog up the ovals or show grounds. Why not close off the main street, and then they would be all on bitumen.”
So the next year, 1997, there were 20 log trucks in Grant Street on the Sunday of the long weekend and about 200 people showed up to inspect them. There was a stage put together on the back of a semi-trailer and a couple of country and western singers entertained the crowd for the day,
It has just grown from there.
Alexandra now hosts over 100 truck of all descriptions, log trucks, tippers, vintage and tow trucks. There are over 200 Ute on display, including B&S utes, working utes, town utes, and chicks utes. There are 30 hot rods on display. We still have timber harvesting machinery on display. The second biggest wood chop event in the state with over 50 axemen. And a great line up of bands still playing on the back of a truck in the main street.
By 2009 the crowd has swollen to 12,000 and for a number of local community groups it is their biggest fund raiser of the year. In addition to that all of the pubs, bakeries, cafes and other local businesses are open for the day and for all of them it is their biggest trading day of the year.