Firing Order: Easter Jeep Safari Is How Many Years Old?Posted in Features on May 10, 2017
I’m writing this a few days after boomeranging back to my office from the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) in Moab. One of the many impressive things about EJS is that 2017 marked the event’s 51st anniversary. Yes, 51 years. That’s remarkable.
An event has to be pretty incredible to boast this kind of longevity, and EJS is, well, pretty incredible. Not only has it drawn, and held, the attention of wheelers the world over, it has also caught the attention of a number of aftermarket 4x4 parts manufacturers who run trails all week and then set up shop at the Jeep Expo, a massive two-day vendor show that is part of EJS. The event has even caught the attention of new vehicle manufacturers, and many have made the trek to the event and brought along concept or test vehicles.
There are several reasons why EJS is successful. One is the incredible work of the Red Rock 4-Wheelers who put on the event. It appears as though they have everything dialed in and things seem to run like a finely-tuned big-block. Another reason for the success of EJS is that it’s held in one of the most beautiful parts of the U.S. that boasts some fabulous wheeling. Legendary trails like Cliffhanger, Hell’s Revenge, and Moab Rim. Additionally, EJS offers some unique, creative trail rides like First Timers, Sophomore, and Junior packages. Participants spend three days on the trail with the same leaders and participant,s and the wheeling is designed to become slightly more aggressive from one day to the next. Good stuff.
As I pondered EJS’ longevity, I began to think about off-road and 4x4 events that have a long history in the U.S., events that are probably household names no matter what region of the country you reside in. Mile-Hi Jeep Club’s All-4-Fun in Colorado (51 years), Mudchuggers’ SnoBlind in Michigan (23 years), Minnesota Go-4’s Memorial Off-Road Rally in Wisconsin (49 years), IOK 4 Wheelers’ Gravelrama in Ohio (47 years), Tierra Del Sol’s Desert Safari in California (55 years), Family Events’ Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree (36 years), Southern Four Wheel Drive Association’s Dixie Run in Tennessee (31 years), PA Jeeps’ All Breeds Jeep Show in Pennsylvania (22 years), California Four Wheel Drive Association’s Sierra Trek (50 years), SCORE’s Baja 1000 (50 years), and Jeeper’s Jamboree (65 years), just to name a few. I had to calculate some of those years of operation so they may be off a year or two.
Another bright spot is that there are a whole bunch of new and relatively new events in the 4WD community that have the potential of being around for a long time. Events like King of the Hammers (California), Jeep Beach (Florida), and Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival (Pennsylvania).
So back to EJS. It seems to get better each year. How long will it continue to soldier on? Hopefully for a long time to come. When the Easter Jeep Safari celebrates its 100th anniversary, I’ll be 103 years old. I’m going to be optimistic and plan to be there to celebrate.