Police and locals are readying for the upcoming return of the former Slammin’ and Jammin’ Car Show this weekend in Lebanon.
The event will once again cruise into Wilson County, this time with a different name, and find a weekend home from Friday to Sunday at the James E. Ward Ag Center.
The annual Slammin’ and Jammin’ show took place in Lebanon for more than 15 years before it eventually left due to problems it caused, including hundreds of arrests and citations, police said.
After leaving the area, the show then moved to Knoxville and other locations, where it failed to reach the success it saw in Wilson County.
The show has since been renamed the “Lo-Life Rumble” or “Lo-Life Cruisin’” and will return this year under the same organizer but possibly a different crowd.
“It’s my understanding that hopefully it will be a different crowd this year than years past,” said Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen.
In the past, the show has featured almost 2,000 cars and trucks, making it one of the largest shows of its kind in the South.
The event is known to bring in more than 8,000 spectators and even more dollars for the city.
“Obviously, we welcome events to our city and we want people to come and bring in revenue, but we just don’t want things to be like they were the last time,” Bowen said.
Bowen said he’s referring to the last time the event came a couple of years ago, when law enforcement officers saw hundreds of arrests and citations for many different offenses ranging from drunkenness to lewdness to DUIs, drag racing and vandalism.
“I think they had every intent on turning the town into Mardi Gras,” Bowen said. “In my opinion, the last time there wasn’t a problem with the actual event at the Ag Center, but after the show shut down these people had nowhere to go and nothing to do after-hours, so that’s where the trouble was caused with problems at hotels, traffic being backed up from the square to Maddox Simpson, and things like that.”
After a few years break from the event, Bowen said he hoped things had changed.
“We’ll have extra officers out, almost double the normal amount, and so we’re hoping for no issues,” Bowen said.
Bowen said this weekend would already serve as a busy weekend with it being Memorial Day weekend.
“The greatest fear is public safety,” Bowen said. “We’re hoping we don’t have a problem, and we’re hoping for the best, but prepared if it’s not.”
Organizers said there are several new events planned for the show on Saturday, including a Bikini Contest at 5p.m., a Pin Up Contest at 3:30 p.m. and a Burnout Contest at 2 p.m.
The open show is sure to be a mecca for auto lovers and is set to feature hot rods, muscle cars, custom cars, classics, cruisers, trucks, motorcycles, rat rods and more.
Countless awards and cash prizes will be given out over the weekend in dozens of different categories.
Gates to the event open Friday at 8 a.m. and the show opens each day at 8 a.m. as well.
For more information, visit lo-lifecruisin.com.