Northern Roundup draws thousands to Gleason area
Attendees come to celebrate hotrods, pinups, and all things vintage
BY TINA L. SCOTT
Northern Roundup Vintage Weekend drew thousands of people to the Gleason area on June 22-24, 2023. Held at the MC Festival Grounds, N5890 Cty. Rd. H,, Gleason, in Deerbrook, the three-day event is billed as the “hotrod party of the summer in the great northwoods” and draws campers and attendees who love vintage cars, trucks, motorcycles, semis, and all things vintage from throughout the state of Wisconsin and beyond.
In addition to on-site camping, some in vintage campers, some in modern campers, and others who rough it in a tent, Northern Roundup includes a display of vintage automobiles and semis, mini bikes and a mini-bike show, car cruise, live music, a swap area, a talent contest, merchandise vendors, food and drink vendors, covered bar area, a pinup contest, and more.
Auto clubs present their “club picks” awards in the car/truck show for best of show and other categories of their choosing. Raffles and an auction raise funds for a charity each year, typically related to veterans in some way. And this year, a 1962 Chevrolet C10 was the vintage hot ticket item for the raffle, and live performances included headliner Reverend Horton Heat, The Hotrod Walt Trio, and The Best Westerns with Eddie River on steel guitar on Saturday and other live bands on Thursday and Friday.
Roosters Six Customs Car Club hosts the event. “We started The Northern Roundup Vintage Weekend in 2015 as a way to raise money for local veterans’ charities and to bring a little bit of a different car show experience to the northwoods,” said Chad Walker, founder and President of the car club. “More of a car and music festival.”
The event, which started small and grew to a three-day event, now draws an average of 2,000 to 4,000 people to the rural Gleason area each year, he said.
“Last year we raised $10,750 for the Northwoods Veterans Post,” Walker said. “This year we raised $2,500 for The Never Forgotten Honor Flight and $500 for The Lincoln County Humane Society.”
In addition to raising funds for local charities, a few other things set Northern Roundup apart–primarily, the combination of so many vintage interests in one place.
“Our event features not only classic cars and trucks but vintage semi trucks, as well,” Walker said. “Also mini-bike racing, flame throwing cars, a loud pipes contest, a pinup contest, live auctions of vintage items, camping, and so much more.”
“Northern Roundup isn’t about sitting by your car waiting for a plastic trophy,” he said. “It’s about interacting with like-minded people that love this lifestyle as much as they do.”
In fact, the trophies aren’t even plastic. Each club creates their own trophies, which tend to be creative custom trophies incorporating various car parts in their design.
This year’s pinup contest drew 25 contestants from throughout Wisconsin, including a number of contestants from north central Wisconsin, as well as a couple from Minnesota. The winner was Nickole Miller from Edgerton, Wis.
On display in the show this year, “We had 200+ cars and trucks and 31 semis,” Walker said. Many attendees came for the entire three days, with 315 campsites sold. “Our camping typically sells out before December first,” he said.
For more information or to reserve a campsite for the 2024 Northern Roundup Vintage Weekend, when the event will celebrate its 10-year anniversary, go to northernroundup.com.