Tons of trucks coming to Madison High

Aug. 26 event will feature wide variety of vehicles

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published August 15, 2017

MADISON HEIGHTS — From heavy-duty military vehicles built to survive a bomb blast, to the police cruisers and fire engines that keep the community safe, there will be all kinds of trucks to see during an upcoming event at Madison High School.

The event is appropriately titled “Trucks, Trucks, TRUCKS!” and will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, in the parking lot at Madison High, 915 E. 11 Mile Road.

Admission is free. The trucks will be parked on the 11 Mile side, but attendees can park on either side.

While the Madison school district is hosting the event, the sponsor organizing it is the Madison Heights/Hazel Park Chamber of Commerce, along with the Downtown Development Authority.

“We’re trying to create more of a buzz in our downtown area and to energize the south end of the community,” said Keri Valmassei, the chamber’s executive director. “This was relatively easy to organize, and at no cost. The organizations are all volunteering to be there. This is our first time having it — my hope is that it can become an annual event and continue to grow.”

The Department of Public Services will bring its utility trucks. MRA Mobile Experiential Tours will demonstrate its custom-made semi-tractors. The Police Department will bring its armored transport vehicle and tricked-out pickup truck, while the Fire Department will bring a fire engine — unless it’s called out to service, of course. College Hunks Hauling Junk will bring a moving van.

There will also be an MRAP from Navistar Defense, one of the largest military contractors in the United States, operating in Madison Heights. MRAP stands for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected, which explains its purpose: transporting U.S. troops safely through war zones rigged with IEDS (improvised explosive devices). The trucks are built to survive a direct bomb blast to their undersides. Attendees will be able to inspect the vehicle firsthand at the event.

Each of the participating organizations will have representatives on hand to explain the vehicles and help attendees get in and out of them.

“This is a chance for people in the community to get up close and personal with vehicles they may see, but don’t often have a chance to really experience,” Valmassei said. “It’ll be fun for families, with a bit of education thrown in. The chamber is super excited to have facilitated this event, and I encourage people to come out.”

Madison Superintendent Randy Speck said the school district is happy to host this event.

“Really, the truck event is being put on by the Chamber of Commerce, but we’re glad to provide the space at Madison High School,” Speck said. “It’ll be an awesome event for kids to see, along with the adults, I’m sure.”

Speck said that enrollment has started for the new school year and continues to grow at Madison Elementary, and that the district’s summer feeding program was a huge success, as was its spring carnival, with next year’s already being planned.

He said the district is open to more collaborations such as the truck event in the future.

“Any opportunities for the school district and the city to work together are beneficial and show collaboration,” Speck said.