Tow truck show rolls through Hampton Beach

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Vehicle Demonstrations Steal Spotlight

By Joey Cresta

Hampton Union, Tuesday, May 17, 2011

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online]
The Tow Truck Parade makes its way Sunday to Hampton State Park at Hampton Beach. New Hampshire is the only state in the tri-state area to still hold the annual trade show.
[Portsmouth Herald photo]

HAMPTON -- Tow trucks took over Hampton Beach State Park this weekend for the 39th annual Tow and Trade Show.

The two-day affair, hosted by the N.H. Towing Association, featured towing demonstrations, antique trucks, vendors, food, games and family-oriented activities. According to George Antoine, association president, the event was a good opportunity to educate the public about who they are and what they do.

"We want to clean the image up," he said, adding, "these companies are doing a hell of a job at it."

New Hampshire is the only state in the tri-state area that still holds its annual trade show, he said. That has a lot to do with the economy, he said, and even this year's show on Hampton Beach was smaller than past events.

Sunday's tow truck parade featured 150 vehicles, but those in attendance remembered years past when as many as 400 took part. Still, given the overcast weather, Antoine said the turnout was "tremendous."

Many attendees said they either worked for towing companies or knew someone who did. Towing companies from all over the state turned out, with local representation from such companies as Superior Towing of Newington and National Wrecker Service of Portsmouth.

"It's not something you would come to if you didn't know somebody in the business," said Kerri Methot, of Manchester, who was there to support friends with Shaker Towing of Epsom.

The trade show provided much excitement for the children in attendance, who could participate in a treasure hunt and watch the big, shiny trucks do their thing.

"We saw a tow truck carrying a tow truck," Methot's daughter, Mackenzie, said with a giggle.

"Show me a kid who doesn't love a tow truck, a wrecker, a fire truck, anything," Antoine said. "They love it."

Jenn Brady, who attended with her friend, Melissa Guilbeault of Nashua, said there seemed to be plenty of adults enjoying the vehicles as well. "I'm sure it's nice to bring out your nicest and biggest truck to show off a little bit," she said.

Kevin Gilman, the owner of Newington's Superior Towing, said he has been attending the trade show since 1989. He said it is a good place to meet the competition, learn some new tips, find out about new equipment and possibly even walk away the owner of a new vehicle, as he did two years ago.

"Some people collect boats and antique cars. Some of us collect tow trucks," he said. "We get a big thrill out of it."

Owen Riley, 5, of Seabrook is shown here on his dad Peter’s shoulders at the tow truck gathering at the Hampton State Park in Hampton on Sunday May 15.
[Portsmouth Herald photo]
Aiden Clark, left, 2, of Kittery , Maine, and Bradley Bowen, right, 2, of North Berwick, Maine, are shown here on a flatbed at the tow truck gathering at the Hampton State Park in Hampton on Sunday, May 15.
[Portsmouth Herald photo]
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