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Lowdown Throwdown 2023: Iowa’s Spectacular Truck Show

PHIL GORDAN September 26, 2023 Drive Online

200 registered vehicles, thousands of spectators

Des Moines not only serves as the capital of Iowa, but it’s also the most populous city in the state. When Heidi Henckel and her husband Tom decided to start a show at the Water Works Park minutes away from the downtown area, they went big. 

“I was tired of driving six to seven hours away for a good truck show,” Heidi tells Street Trucks. “It was time to put Iowa on the map.”

With the help of Heidi’s twin brother Greg Talburt, Lowdown Throwdown was created. Now in its third year, the numbers are only growing with the total vehicles registered just barely under 200 and spectators in the thousands.

The same weekend, the Principal Charity Classic golf championship brought even more people to Des Moines, making it the biggest weekend of the year and packing the house at the park. Tons of sponsors and venders were on display, including Midwest Dreamer, Booton’s World, Team Billet, Bagged N Nerdy, Hatermade/MadGear Clothing, Graphic Disorder, Asphalt Army, iHatePhil, Golf Carts of Iowa, Summit Racing, Vigil Custom Designs, Loco Dreamers, Mike and Mary Raymond, Kre8ive House, C&K Auto Glass, Waste Connections, Glidefast, Nucara Pharmacy, A King’s Throne, KIK, JO Body & Paint, and Stoner Car Care.

Five different food venders were placed around the show grounds, making sure everyone had full bellies and great tastes. They included Rub and Smoke, Smokey D, Sweet Swirls, and Sabores de Mexico. 515 Mobile Detailing was set up before the show, making sure every truck was perfectly detailed. Kill Shot Axe Throwing had everyone getting their axe throwing out of their system throughout the weekend. Midwest Dragfest and Loco Dreamers were given their own specialty awards that they gave out to who they thought were their best and most unique vehicles. Club games included a frozen T-shirt contest as well as a tortilla slap, which got very interesting. The car and truck limbo always brings in the lowest vehicles and keeps everyone entertained.

Some of the best awards went to 16-year-old Hannah Bergum with her right-side-drive Chevy S-10 on her debut showing. Her father and mother, Jeff and Amy, also received awards for their vehicles, making it a full family-winning day. Proceeds from the show went to St. Jude’s Hospital as giving back seems to be a very Midwest thing and a staple for Lowdown Roundup. Heidi, Tom, and Greg wish to thank everybody who came out for the scorching hot weekend in Des Moines, and they have already secured the Water Works Park for next year. For more information and ways to register for next year’s event, log on to


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