There are quite a few “staples” in the custom truck show scene and Layd Out at the Park (LOATP) held yearly at Cherokee Park in Morristown, Tennessee is definitely on that list. 2015 marked the 11th year of the show, which has continued to grow and gain support year on end. Like most top-notch, long standing truck shows, the gates open on Friday as part of the three day weekend festivities. The beautiful show grounds at Cherokee Park allow for show-goers and clubs to park in a wide variety of awesome locations with enough room to setup show displays (which really helps when it comes time to take pictures). Although Mother Nature hit us with some rain on Friday the remainder of the weekend sun filled with temperatures breaking into the 90s.
Photos & Words: Jason Ballard
Although this was our first opportunity to cover LOATP for Slam’d Mag we are no strangers to the plethora of rides that make the trek to Eastern Tennessee each year. The weekend kicked off with Brandt Fuqua and the GD team opening up the doors to Graphic Disorder for a little get together, which has now turned into a yearly tradition. Brandt and Shelly really enjoy hosting the open house because it allows for customers and show participants to get a unique view into the location that pumps out some of the baddest clothing a custom enthusiast could wish for and it gives customers an inside look at the giant operation. As soon as the doors were shut at Graphic Disorder the rides were aired up and on the quick drive over to Morristown to claim a spot at the show grounds.
As we mentioned, the gates open on Friday so this allows the opportunity for clubs and businesses to stake out their locations and setup base. As the title sponsors for LOATP, Drop ‘Em Wear began slanging their coveted show shirts, which also included the special limited edition shirt, on Friday (these sell out fast, so get there early next time and scoop one up). As Saturday morning rolled around the show grounds quickly began filling up with a large variety of rides cruising into Cherokee Park. One of the rides that stuck out right away was Russell “Menso” Rodriguez’s low-slung and jaw dropping 2008 Chevy Silverado, which ended up taking home the Best of Show honors at the end of the weekend’s festivities.
A large number of spectators also came in droves to check out all of the custom rides, including many families pushing equally custom baby strollers. There is no doubt that this show is a family affair, and it’s cool to see that as we get older we’re passing the custom car addiction along to our kids. Participants and spectators came from as far as Canada and surrounding states. Aftermath rolled deep along with numerous other clubs including; Relaxed Atmosphere, Negative Camber, Severed Ties, No Regrets, Freaks of Nature, and many more.
Since the show season is now in full swing it was nice to see not only some staple rides taking in the sun but also some of the freshly completed vehicles making their debut. LOATP offers a $1,000 purse for the Best Debut Award to the show entry that has been kept under wraps until the weekend of April 10th. The scorched red Chevy full-size owned by Mike Hyde from Negative Camber took home this highly sought after honors after a tough decision was reached by the judges, which is a culmination of several clubs that stepped up to help out with the show. One thing is for sure, we’re certainly glad we didn’t have to help make the decision for the Best Debut as the handful of new rides on hand made it quite a challenging decision this year.
Having attended Layd Out for several years now, we can guarantee that the casual all the way to the fully engrained enthusiast will have a blast, as there’s truly something for everyone. The show grounds, weather, local hotels and restaurants make for an awesome weekend getaway with hundreds of your closest friends on hand. If we have one wish for 2016, we would ask that Jeffrey Dillard and and the LOATP crew will continue with this early April tradition and we’ll definitely see you there!