Top 10 Mustang Car Shows You Need to Attend

Top 10 Mustang Car Shows You Need to Attend

Last Updated April 17, 2024 | Kevin Brent

There's nothing better for Mustang owners than hitting the open road and joining fellow enthusiasts at the country's top Mustang car shows and events. From world-famous gatherings that draw in thousands of attendants, to local meet-ups, Mustang car shows are a great way to engage with the Mustang community and talk shop with like-minded owners.

There are countless worthwhile Mustang car shows across the country that bring the Mustang community together, but a few stand out above the rest. Check out our list of the top 10 Mustang car shows you need to attend. We've also added some honorable mentions for Mustang car shows you should definitely have on your bucket list. Whether you're a veteran Mustang enthusiast or a new owner, each of these Mustang car shows have something to match your interests.

Top 10 Mustang Car Shows for Auto Enthusiasts

Ponies in the Smokies (Pigeon Forge, TN)

This popular multi-day event in mid-March kicks off the Mustang car show season in the Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Ponies in the Smokies features a huge Mustang car show, poker run along the famous Tail of the Dragon, drifting competitions, drag racing, and so much more for a jam-packed weekend celebrating all things Mustang. Ponies in the Smokies also features many after hours events that are great for meeting like minded Mustang enthusiasts.

Ponies in the Smokies Mustang Event

Car Show Date: March 18-23

Get Tickets: Ponies in the Smokies site


Holley Ford Festival (Bowling Green, KY)

If you have any interest in competitive drag racing, Holley Ford Festival in Bowling Green Kentucky is the event for you. This week-long event at the end of September will be the site of the NMRA World Finals, which is one of the most competitive drag racing events on the planet.

There are also plenty of activities for other types of auto enthusiasts. Holley Ford Fest has recently added some awesome side events to the activities lineup, including drift competitions, autocross, monster truck shows, off-road racing, Mustang car shows, and more. Whether you're a casual Ford fan or a diehard drag racing enthusiast, Holley Ford Fest is an excellent Mustang car show to attend.

Holley Ford Fest Mustang event

Car Show Date: September 28 - October 1

Get Tickets: Holley Ford Fest site


Mustang Week (Myrtle Beach, SC)

No Mustang car show bucket list would be complete without Myrtle Beach's legendary Mustang Week. After many thought it might be gone forever, Mustang Week is back with new owners, but the same awesome Mustang car show. Taking place the first week of September, this enormous gathering draws thousands of Mustangs to South Carolina for a week of specialty car shows, organized cruises, and drag racing events. Arguably the best parts of Mustang week are the after hours events. Many of the planned activities feel like one big party, including the hugely popular retro-themed Mustang Meet.

Mustang Week event

Car Show Date: September 4-9

Get Tickets: Mustang Week site


Woodward Dream Cruise (Detroit, MI)

Each August, the world-renowned Woodward Dream Cruise takes over Detroit's historic Woodward Avenue. For car lovers, it's a must-see event with over 1 million spectators and tens of thousands of classic cars cruising down the strip. Nearby Mustang car shows like Ford's Mustang Alley, Roadkill Nights, and displays from top parts manufacturers take the celebration to another level. This is a great venue if you want to participate in a Mustang community event without having to know how to race or drift.

Woodward Dream Cruise Mustang Event

Car Show Date: August 19

Get Tickets: Woodward Dream Cruise site


Foxtoberfest (Charlotte, NC)

Foxtoberfest has become the East Coast's premier all-Fox Body Mustang car show every October. Based out of Charlotte, NC, this weekend-long gathering features curated Fox Body cruises, car shows, brewery meets, drag racing, and more. It's the perfect way to celebrate the Fox Body Mustang generation. This is a Fox Body only Mustang car show, so you'll need one to participate. Even if you don't own a Fox Body, it's still a great Mustang car show if you appreciate the Fox Body generation and want to meet fellow enthusiasts and Fox Body experts.

Foxtoberfest Mustang event

Car Show Date: October 10-14

Get Tickets: Foxtoberfest site


Gridlife Festivals (Multiple Locations)

Gridlife is first and foremost a party celebrating all things automotive. The venue hosts live music concerts and community activities all throughout the night, making it one of the most accessible and fun car shows for any Mustang enthusiast. Gridlife Festivals are hosted at tracks across the U.S. These multi-day festivals blend an active nightlife with organized road rallies, drifting, autocross, and track time trials during the day for a lively community event. With camping encouraged, it's an easy recommendation for any Mustang car show bucket list.

Gridlife Mustang event

Car Show Date: Multiple Event Dates

Get Tickets: Gridlife Festivals site


Street Car Takeover (Multiple Locations)

Street Car Takeover events are hosted at several different tracks nationwide, making it an easy recommendation no matter where you're located. While each of the locations have their merits, the best place to experience Street Car Takeover is at Charlotte's zMAX Dragway, one of the only 4-lane dragstrips in the country. Experience this phenomenal venue with roll racing, drag racing, and car shows for an unforgettable automotive experience with like minded enthusiasts.

Street Car Takeover Mustang Event

Car Show Date: Multiple Event Dates

Get Tickets: Street Car Takeover site


Hot Rod Power Tour (Multiple Locations)

The Hot Rod Power Tour is a bucket list necessity for those who love road trips. Join thousands of fellow auto fanatics as you caravan city-to-city making stops at unique locations along the way. Hot Rod Drag Week is a similar event that spans only one week. You'll be racing from track to track and taking a timed lap at each location. If you have a competitive spirit and love the open road, Hot Rod Power Tour and Hot Rod Drag Week are two Mustang events you won't want to miss.

Hot Rod Power Tour Mustang event

Car Show Date: June 12-16

Get Tickets: Hot Rod Power Tour site


All-Ford Nationals (Carlisle, PA)

Each June, Carlisle comes alive for the massive All-Ford Nationals car show. Alongside over 3,500 entrants in the car show, there is an enormous Mustang swap meet and nonstop activities like drifting and autocross. CJ Pony Parts kicks off the Mustang car show on Friday with our Pony Trails Cruise. It's a prime East Coast car show for any Mustang enthusiast looking for a way to get involved in the Mustang community.

All Ford Nationals Mustang event

Car Show Date: May 31 - June 2

Get Tickets: All-Ford Nationals site


World Cup Finals (Mechanicsville, MD)

Only the best-of-the-best compete at Maryland International Raceway's World Cup Finals each November. With an intense application process and competition spots filling almost instantly, it's one of the drag racing world's most elite and exclusive events. For committed drag racers, this battle of import vs domestic powerhouses is the ultimate Mustang bucket list item. Even if you're not planning on competing, showing up as a fan can be a great experience as well.

Car Show Date: November 1-5

Get Tickets: World Cup Finals site

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5 Bucket List Mustang Events

If you're not able to make it to any of the Mustang car shows listed above, don't worry! There are still plenty of awesome Mustang events to attend throughout the year. Here are 5 more bucket list-worthy Mustang community events that you won't want to miss.

Sturgis Mustang Rally (Sturgis, SD)

While Sturgis is known for its massive annual motorcycle rally, they've recently started hosting a Mustang rally as well. Mustangs take over the small South Dakota town for this rapidly growing Mustang car show that has become a premier gathering, especially for owners in the region.

Sturgis Mustang Rally Event

Car Show Date: August 29 - September 3


Ford Takeover (Jackson, TN)

The best part about Ford Takeover in Jackson, Tennessee is the laid-back nature of the event. Activities focus on drag racing events, cruising, and camaraderie rather than competition. Bring your Mustang to race or show without the stress of classes and judging. This is a great Mustang car show for those looking for an entry point to the Mustang community. The main goal is just having fun with fellow enthusiasts, so it's an easy way to meet fellow enthusiasts.

Car Show Date: June 23-24

Get Tickets: Ford Takeover site


Shelby Mountain Run (Location Varies)

The Shelby Mountain Run is a multi-day driving event that tours some of the best driving roads in the U.S. This year Shelby Mountain Run is held in Kentucky, but the event moves around each year. This event is exclusive to Shelby Mustangs, and it promises amazing routes and a great time for any Shelby Mustang owner.

Shelby Mountain Run Mustang Event

Car Show Date: July 18-20

Get Tickets: Shelby Mountain Run site


Syracuse Nationals (Syracuse, NY)

Syracuse Nationals is one of the biggest classic car shows around, with nearly 100,000 attendees and over 8,000 show cars. Held annually in Syracuse, it's a must-see for any classic Ford fan. Entrants in the event are limited to 1993 and older vehicles to retain the vintage aesthetic, but even modern Mustang owners can add this event to their calendar as a way to appreciate the classics.

Car Show Date: July 19-21

Get Tickets: Syracuse Nationals site


Mod Nationals (Bradenton, FL)

Mod Nationals features some of the fastest modded coyote-powered Mustangs in the country. Huge payouts, classes for nearly every racing fan, and a new, larger Florida venue make this a can't-miss event for those looking for some intense competition.

Modnationals Mustang event

Car Show Date: November 9-12

Get Tickets: Mod Nationals site


Prepare Your Mustang for Car Shows with Aftermarket Parts

Mustang car shows are some of the best ways to get involved in the auto community. It's a creative outlet for enthusiasts to show off their skills behind the wheel and under the hood. If you're ready to start investing in your Mustang so it's show ready, we have all the parts and knowledge you need to complete your dream build.

Check out our Mustang parts page below and shop a wide variety of upgrades for every Mustang model and year. Make your next Mustang car show one to remember, and keep your Mustang in top condition with quality aftermarket parts.

For more Mustang event recommendations, visit our CJ Pony Parts events page.

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.