Mandatory Mud Mania: The Most Awesome Mud Events In the United States
Top destinations for mucky entertainment in the United States
Although the prominent color at mud events is brown, a colorful lifestyle has evolved around people who like to play dirty. While the goal in the desert or on the rocks is to avoid getting stuck, recreational mudders like to get into deep predicaments. The more heavy equipment required to extract the stuck truck, the more fun is had by all.
Most states have local mud holes. On any given weekend, the big-mudder crowd is slinging chunks and breaking parts. Instead of listing all these spots, we compiled select mud spectacles that are possibly vacation-worthy. Some are frequent stops for the Trucks Gone Wild video series, which lists other big-time mud events at TrucksGoneWild.com. Some hadn’t finalized their 2016 schedules at press time, so visit their websites for the most current information.
Mud events attract the most eclectic mix of machinery. The larger ones draw everything from stock side-by-sides to traditional lifted trucks on Swampers to Mega Trucks on tall, skinny agricultural tires to unique mud buggies.
Redneck Yacht Club Mud Park, Punta Gorda, FL
One of the most famous mud parks, Redneck Yacht Club hosts a variety of events throughout the year. The Trucks Gone Wild Fall Classic is one of its largest. The 2016 schedule and dates weren’t finalized at press time.
Opened in 2009, the 800-acre Redneck Yacht Club features four mud holes. It also has a 500-foot oval mud track, an obstacle course, an ATV/UTV area, wooded trails, a camping area, a swimming hole, and even an airboat track. A concert stage hosts musical acts. This is definitely a bucket-list venue.
Redneck Yacht Club
The Redneck Yacht Club has mudholes for everything from stock-ish Jeeps to Mega Trucks. It also has an airboat track.
Mud Fest, Sweet Home, OR
For more than 40 years, the Santiam 4WD Association has hosted a big mud event in Oregon. It began at the Foster Mud Flats then moved to private property in 2001. Rebranded the Mountain Mud Festival, the event has since expanded to include mud drags, an obstacle course, and a rockcrawl.
In 2010, Mud Fest found another home on private property. This family friendly event is usually held on the first Saturday in March. Mud Fest attracts everything from stock 4x4s to purpose-built mud machines. Tickets normally sell out early. Mud Fest proceeds are donated to local and national charities.
Santiam 4WD Association
Mud Fest attracts people from throughout the Pacific Northwest. It is one of the oldest annual recreational mud events.
Vermonster 4x4 Spring Mud Fling, Bradford, VT
Since 2006 this family friendly event every May features a full weekend of trucksports for participants and spectators. These include Head-2-Head Mud Racing, a deep-mud Trench competition, a Hill-N-Hole challenge, a slow-speed Trials Course for 4x4s and side-by-sides, a Tough Truck track, tractor pulls, a rockcrawl course, rock racing, tractor pulling, and a kids’ Power Wheels race. Monster and Mega trucks are also part of the show. Vermonster also holds a September event at the Vermont State Fairgrounds.
The Vermonster Spring Mud Fling pulls fans and participants from several northeastern states and Canada. It offers a full slate of family oriented attractions.
Truck Night at Yankee Lake, Brookfield, OH
Now in its 12th year, Truck Night is held on Friday nights from May through August. The 55-acre Yankee Lake property features a 3-mile trail ride with mud and hillclimbs. Three mud pits offer different degrees of difficulty and a chance to win money for those willing to conquer challenges. Truck Night also features a rockcrawl area. A Mega Truck Challenge will be held here in May 2016. The facility features live entertainment in the Yankee Bootlegger Saloon.
Truck Night at Yankee Lake
Truck Night routinely hosts Trucks Gone Wild and Mega Truck events. A circular mud track is one of the venue’s many attractions.
Louisiana Mudfest, Colfax, LA
This mud park is located on the Red River and even has a marina for people who want to arrive by boat. Mud Jam, a Saturday event held every June, is billed a “one of the wildest parties in the South.” It often includes nationally known entertainment from early afternoon well into the evening. Instead of organized competition, Mud Jam is more of an exhibition: run whatcha brung, often until it breaks. Louisiana Mudfest also hosts a couple of Trucks Gone Wild events every year, which draw a healthy fan base.
The venue has mud holes of varying depths and trails for Jeeps and ATVs. Other amenities include a swimming hole, camping areas, showers, and even a café and saloon that touts serving the coldest beer in Louisiana.
Louisiana Mudfest is a largely self-contained venue. In addition to a café and saloon, it even has a marina. Parts vendors are often on-site during the large events.
Rednecks with Paychecks, St. Jo, TX
Rednecks With Paychecks (RWP) is a popular park that normally hosts two large four-day events annually. The Spring Break fiesta in March is its signature bash. In recent years, Mega Trucks have been part of the program. Barbie Jeep races with cash pay-outs are another attraction. Live bands appear on the main stage throughout the weekend.
In the middle of Texas farm country, the 1,000-acre RWP property features five mud pits, one of which is a bounty hole. It also has a Tug of War pad and a rockcrawl course. VIP packages include drinks and access to a Main Stage hospitality tent.
Rednecks With Paychecks
RWP is a prime destination for Texas-style mudding. The park typically has two big events each year with one in spring and another in the fall.
Michigan Mud Jam, Hale, MI
This event is the largest mud bog in Michigan and one of the biggest in the country. Scheduled for August 16-20, 2016, Mud Jam will again take place at Iosco County Fair Grounds. Trucks Gone Wild will be attending, and participants and spectators can expect 125 acres of muddy madness.
Events include tug-of-war, mud freestyle, and head-to-head mud racing. Mega Truck competition will also be part of the program. Camping is included in the price of admission. Dogs cost extra, and ATVs are allowed.
Michigan Mud Jam
Mud Jam is possibly the largest event of its type in the northern part of the country. Participants and spectators come from surrounding states to fill the fairgrounds.
St. Lucie MudJam, St. Lucie, FL
Launched in a field in 2011, this event now attracts more than 10,000 people. MudJam has outgrown its original location and was about to announce its new 500-acre park and 2016 event schedule as we went to press. St. Lucie MudJam bills itself as “South Florida’s longest tailgate party.” The events are set up to be spectator-friendly, an attraction for people who don’t have a functional 4x4 or side-by-side but want to see the show. Competitive races include an oval Hill-N-Hole track and a deep mud-bog track. The drag racing purse is $4,000. An infamous bonfire takes place following the Saturday evening entertainment. A family camping area is offered, and St. Lucie MudJam welcomes ATVs and side-by-sides.
St. Lucie Mud Jam
St. Lucie MudJam is reinventing itself for 2016. The park prides itself on being ATV-friendly, dedicating a pit to these machines.
Hick-Hop: The Soundtrack Of Mud Events
Prior to the rise of mud parks, the unofficial musical sounds of the mud lifestyle were mainstream artists such as Lynyrd Skynyard and Kid Rock. Then a new genre grew out of the goo: hick-hop, a collision of Southern rock, country, and rap. The lyrics are often about rolling coal, jacked-up trucks, moonshine, and big bonfires. Bubba Sparxxx is the artist who’s generally credited with launching the movement with his song “Ugly” in 2001. Colt Ford and his Average Joes Entertainment label spread hick-hop to the masses.
Hick-hop’s top artists often perform at large mud fests. Enthusiasts who are interested in getting the full “mud life” experience might want to hit an event where these artists are performing:
Bubba Sparxxx: bubbasparxxx.com
Charlie Farley: charliefarley.net
Colt Ford: coltford.com
Cypress Spring: cypressspringmusic.com
Danny Boone: dannyboonemusic.com
Demun Jones: demunjones.com
Lenny Cooper: lennycoopermusic.com
Jawga Boyz: rollinlikearedneck.com
Moonshine Bandits: moonshinebandits.com
The Lacs: thelacsmusic.com
Lenny Cooper is one of the more popular hick-hop artists. His songs include “Duramax,” “54s,” and “Mud Dynasty.” (Alec Thomas/Average Joes Entertainment)
Mud Racing Series
Although some mud parks have cash-payout competitions, national series allow serious racers ongoing opportunities to attack the pit in front of an audience. The best known and most enduring is the National Mud Racing Organization (NRMO). Owned and operated by Family Events, NRMO races are one feature of the 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals shows in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
The 2016 series has two new components. In addition to the traditional side-by-side Mud Drags, the NMRO will also have “Hill-in-the-Hole” bogs. This adds excitement by adding a hillclimb in the middle if the bog. A new tractor tire class joins the six carryover divisions, which are defined by tire size.
American Mud Racers Association (AMRA) is devoted to “extreme” Southeastern mud racing in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas. AMRA runs four classes, broken down by engine and tire specs: Stock, Super Stock, Modified, Super Modified.
Mud Racers Association was launched in 2007 as a sanctioning body with the mission of unifying rules among the small local events. These include defining classes and mandating safety equipment. The MRA also records national records for the various classes and pit lengths.
NMRO professional mud racing takes place at 4-Wheel Jamboree events. A tractor-tire class is new for 2016. Trophies are awarded in Sportsman classes. (Jeff Lucky/FamilyEvents.com)