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Wheelspin `The Chill’ goes big

  • Published Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, at 12 a.m.

When Richard Bartel first came up with the concept of “The Chill,” it involved a cold weather indoor show featuring custom two-wheeled vehicles, mostly motorcycles. The show was a hit and he quickly added four-wheeled customized vehicles (cars and pickups) to the mix.

This year, for the fifth anniversary of The Chill, he’s expanding it to include 18-wheelers, or at least the big 10-wheeled semi tractors that pull over-the-road trailers. It’s a rapidly growing segment of the customizing scene.

“My goal is to get 30 semis here,” Bartel said. “The Chrome Shop Mafia show in Joplin will have up to 300 show trucks show up.”

“Farmers Oil Trucking out of Anthony is sponsoring this part of the show. They expect to have five or six semis here themselves,” Bartel said.

The show is returning to a three-day format, scheduled to run Feb. 28-March 2 at the Kansas Pavilions. Sponsors urged Bartel to go back to a three-day show after he trimmed it back to a two-day event, he said.

He said the show will feature more vendor booths than ever and eight bands will perform during the event, including four rock tribute groups. The Wichita Blues Society will also present “Blues at The Chill,” featuring blues performers from Topeka, Wichita and Tulsa.

Adult admission for Friday and Saturday is $12 per day, with Sunday tickets going for $10. Children 12 and under are free and adults can get $2 off any day’s admission by going to Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts stores.

“We’re looking for a great show,” Bartel said.

Reach Mike Berry at mberry@wichitaeagle.com.

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