To add to what Derek said, Carlisle is like a huge family reunion and a car show combined! It sounded like you wanted a literal rundown, so I'll do my best!
People start showing up during the week, as early as Tuesday, attempting to ruin Brucie's marriage.
Everyone crash's at the same hotel, as we will block off a section of the one we've come to love. We set up threads as it gets closer for people to start setting up their roomates and whatnot.
I guess you could say the "norm", at least for me and Gaze and a few other veterans is to get out there by Thursday and we set up at the hotel, (and by set up, I mean take over!)
Thursday during the day is spent collecting booze, washing cars, showing off your newest mod, and helping one another install new stuff. Then we just party all night and have a grand old time! Gaze, Mobbdeep and I have the corner back room with Mav and Justin and whoever else they want this year sharing a wall and we host the par-tay!
Friday we wake up early, sometimes washing the car again, and then head to the fairgrounds to set up. You can purchase a meal package ahead of time from the 300M ladies, which is the best deal in town! And eat til your heart's content on the fairgrounds all weekend! Friday is spent wandering the grounds, checking out cars and the swap meet. A lot of people go to the drag races on Friday night, and the rest go back to the hotel to continue the party.
Saturday is the BIG day! Back to the fairgrounds bright and early for the judging day! We eat, we laugh, we cry... Just kidding! No one cries, although this year we might because of the beautiful wedding that will be taking place between Bimmer and his lovely Mel! So Saturday, we have the main show going on where everyone at Carlisle who has entered a car may judge the whole showfield, and the wedding. Usually we will have our Club show that day too. Where the 300M guys will vote for our cars (and vice versa) and then we will have an award ceremony. The day of this might have to be changed because with the wedding this year I doubt we'll have time Saturday.
Then as you can guess it, Saturday night we party some more! But first we get all cleaned up and go out to dinner!
Sunday is what you make of it. A lot of people don't go back to the fairgrounds, but if you place in the Carlisle Show you should head back to drive your car in the parade. The ladies of 300M will have breakfast and lunch again, and we usually leave around 1 or 2 and head home!
As for leaving your car on the fairgrounds, a handful of people do this every year. I'd say most don't, but there's always plenty of people who you can catch a ride with if you decide to leave it there.
I hope this rundown gives you a good idea of what to expect! Its really a great time for EVERYONE. This is my 4th Carlisle and its definitely something to look forward to!