With more than half a million enthusiasts on the grounds annually, car shows at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds often call to mind gear heads who meet to swap obscure and random car parts while discussing the finer details of stock versus modified, collector versus classic or whether the paint on a particular car is historically accurate.
The reality is, those things do happen, but experiencing Carlisle is about more than just rows of cars being displayed for aficionados to admire and rows of parts and pieces for collectors to purchase.
From the Kids at Carlisle and Women's Oasis activity centers to the Country Kids Jamboree, Kids Choice Awards and Monster Truck excitement, the experience at Carlisle is just as much about family fun as it is about automotive excitement. These options are designed to provide an alternative for attendees of all ages and are free of charge to anyone who has purchased grounds admission. Better yet, kids 8 and under are admitted free.
The family entertainment at Carlisle isn't just fun, it's educational. Throughout the year, the automotive future is front and center via activities, seminars, special displays and a youth-specific class known as the "Young Guns."
Sun up to sun down at most shows live music is showcased, sometimes from up-and-coming acts
—the type of people that enable you to say that you saw them before they were a star. There are also industry guests for the historically inclined and mainstream Hollywood and automotive celebrities from yesterday, today and tomorrow. "The King," Richard Petty, is one such star who will be at Carlisle in August as part of the Chrysler Nationals. Petty not only transcends the automotive world, but also is recognizable by children of all ages from his role in Disney Pixar's hit film "Cars."
Activities at Carlisle keep you busy throughout the day so it's only natural for you to build an appetite. Depending on the show, more than 30 different concession stations may be available, offering a wide array of fare. The on-grounds beverage selection is also eclectic, ranging from a simple bottle of water and Pepsi products to slushies and lemonade as well as select beers.
Of course the car, truck and motorcycle events themselves are the foundation of everything that takes place at Carlisle. Beginning in 1974, Carlisle Events has produced some of the world's largest automotive gatherings. The season-long schedule includes events held at not only Carlisle, but also Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, and Auburn, Indiana. Yearly, enthusiasts enjoy two huge automotive swap meets and auctions as well as specialty shows featuring Corvettes, Fords, GMs, Chryslers, trucks, motorcycles, imports, and kit cars as well as tuners and modern customs.
As you can see, even though engines and wheels play a significant role in the happenings at Carlisle, there are many options geared towards those who might not be automotively inclined. Spending a day, weekend or summer at Carlisle can easily be your non-automotive home away from chrome.