You can’t be on the trail all the time. If that brings you to the verge of uncontrollable sobbing, console yourself with some alternatives. If you live within reasonable driving distance of the northwest Ohio town of Lima (that’s Lime- ahh, sucker, not Leem-ahh), the Lucas Oil 4-Wheel Jamboree has been administering “four-wheeling Prozac” for 27 years at the Allen County Fairgrounds … right off Interstate 75. Lima is one of four big Jamborees held by Family Events in 2012, the others being in Springfield, Missouri; Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania; and Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s a place where you can bring your rig for the Mickey Thompson Show-N-Shine (shining is optional) and see what other folks have been doing. You can usually get some hands-on time with the latest tech from all the movers and shakers in the wheeling world. With all the big vendors there selling, you may also be able to make a good score on swag you need or swag you just want.
While a fair bit of a Jambo is “stare and compare,” they are not all static. There’s plenty of motion, if only from a spectator point of view. Most people, especially the kids, consider the General Tire Monster Truck Thunder Drags the big draw. The Mickey Thompson Tough Truck Challenge fills the excitement gaps left between the monster truck competitions and all six classes in the National Mud Racing Organization Mud Drags. If you like the smell of roasted tires, the Dick Cepek Burnout Contest is an exciting way to pass the time—or to participate. This is an easy contest to enter if you are willing to sacrifice some zapato skin in the hopes of a big prize.
The food is better than average at Lima, and there were carnival rides for the young’uns as well as a zip line and a Yamaha ATV Ride-N-Drive track. Lima is also famous for its rollicking parade route through the fairgrounds where, if you watch long enough, something bizarre will happen.
Yeah, it ain’t wheeling, but a Jamboree is like a trade convention. You can pick up on some of the latest trends, make contacts, and build up mojo or the spare parts box for the next trail run.