2014 SEMA Ignited - After-Party
An open invite to the official after-party
All good things must come to an end, and that includes SEMA. Each year, late Friday afternoon marks the official end of the annual trade show. For many, it means the end of a hard, monotonous week full of early mornings and late nights battling epic crowds and intolerably long lunch lines, arduous meetings, stressful business highs and lows, and a general body fatigue that running a marathon can’t compete with. Some of those brave souls also drive the company hauler cross-country to and from SEMA each year, and also set up and tear down their booths. And then there’s the SEMA project vehicle, which probably had this same individual curled up in a stressful ball of emotion during the weeks preceding the show.
This general mood, while not glamorous but certainly shared by all to some degree, sets the stage for something amazing to happen. All that has been pent up and stationary for a week must be put in motion, which applies to vehicles and people alike. A silent voice from somewhere speaks, “Gentlemen, start your engines.” Spectators flock from near and far, appearing from between shrubs and behind trash cans, whispering, “It’s happening.” OK, maybe that’s a touch dramatic, so here’s the stale version: All the vehicles inside the Las Vegas Convention Center and surrounding outdoor lots must leave, and it’s an amazing phenomenon each and every year that can be enjoyed by the public. The unofficial exodus parade is the most eclectic group of automotive specimens you’ll ever encounter. The line of vehicles could go something like this: Lamborghini, desert race truck, classic car, lifted truck, farm thing, slammed truck, alcohol race car, big rig, fastest car on earth, and classic truck.
Over the past few years, SEMA has picked up on this secret show favorite and made it into something more and more official each year, with the inaugural SEMA Cruise in 2011, cleverly presented by Chevy Cruze and sponsored by eBay Motors, UPS, Swisstrax and Mothers Polish. The rainy day car and truck cavalcade convened in the Gold Lot across the street from the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Building on the success of the prior SEMA Cruises, 2014 saw the introduction of SEMA Ignited at the LINQ High Roller Event Lot (at the base of the giant Ferris wheel). Poised as the Official SEMA Show After-Party, this free, open-to-the-public event featured the SEMA Cruise vehicles (as the end of the cruise route was the show), food trucks, music, entertainment, celebrities, car builders, burnouts, a “SEMA Battle of the Builders” award, and more. It was the perfect venue for such an extravaganza, with easy access for spectators via the monorail. Overall, the weary were revived and the crowds were entertained. We can’t wait to see what next year has in store.