Rockabilly Riot coming to Carson City |

Rockabilly Riot coming to Carson City

Teri Vance
For the Nevada Appeal
Brian Hanson, of Minden, displays his 1937 Ford truck at last year’s Rockabilly Riot car show at Mills Park. This year’s event runs June 21-23. Photo by Lance Iversen/Nevada Photo Source
Lance Iversen | Nevada Photo Source

If you go

WHAT: Rockabilly Riot

WHEN: June 21-23

WHERE: Mills Park

More than 600 cars are expected to roll in for the annual Rockabilly Riot on June 21-23 in Mills Park.

The show will feature hot rods — most built from the ground up — from 1976 and older.

“We will have everything, including Camaros, Mustangs and Chargers — all are welcome,” said founder and promoter Paul Sampson. “It’s definitely not like any other car show in the area.”

Rockabilly Riot started eight years ago in Reno, but is in its third year in Carson City.

The three-day show has several highlights, such as a performance by the U.S. Navy brass band on noon June 21. The next day, the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs will parachute into the park.

The Miss Rockabilly Riot pageant will be noon June 23 to choose the show’s coolest pin-up girl.

“The show is going to be over an hour long,” Sampson said. “People will really like it.”

A downtown cruise will begin around 7:30 p.m. June 23.

“We’ll have girls on the west corner between Spear and Telegraph streets handing out candy,” Sampson said.

Sampson warned neighbors should be prepared for the Cacklefest, at 7:15 p.m. June 23, where all the nitro car owners fire up their engines simultaneously.

“It’s to celebrate the people who have passed away who have been a part of Rockabilly Riot in the last 10 years,” he said. “There will be 400 cars all starting up their engines and rapping them out. It’s really cool for everyone to hear that. Last year, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”

In addition to the special events, Sampson said, the main draw of the show is the cars themselves.

“It’s a working-class car show,” he said. “Almost all of these cars are built by their owner. These cars are daily drivers. Guys drive them to work Monday through Friday.”

Many of them will be seen for the first time during Rockabilly Riot.

“One of the coolest things is we have people who build cars for years and debut them at our show,” Sampson said. “It’s become a tradition to debut them here.”

The essence of the show, he said, is the love of cars.

“It’s all about cars,” Sampson said. “It’s for people who love cars and want to talk about cars.”