Mud Jam brings in large crowd

Published 9:23 pm Monday, April 16, 2018

Mud was slinging in every direction as larger-than-life trucks ripped through the mud pit in front of all the spectators at Suffolk Executive Airport for the third annual Suffolk Spring Mud Jam.

The water truck and a crane were on standby while the festivities got started, and the crane got put to work early on, as a truck got stuck twice before the competition even began. The incident gave the crowd something to laugh about in the heat before the trucks started speeding across the mud pit.

The water truck also had its work cut out for it, because the hot Saturday afternoon kept drying the mud out.

Newsletter

Email newsletter signup

Before the Mud Jam got started, spectators had the opportunity to meet the drivers and get an up-close look at the trucks and four-wheelers lined up against the pit.

The festival drew a large crowd, filling both bleachers of both sides of the mud pit. There were about 2,000 spectators, according to Lisa Key, director of Suffolk Festivals.

“There’s not a whole lot going on this time of year, and the Mud Jam gets people out of the house,” said Darin Henley, Peanut Fest volunteer. “This is the first festival of the summer, and it gives the people something to see.”

“This year, it was a great event and it went smoothly,” Key said. “We were thankful for the great weather.”

The festival got its start three years ago as a fundraiser for Suffolk’s Peanut Festival, and on average they raise about $20,000 each year. They don’t yet know the exact number from this year’s Mud Jam, according to Key.

“For truck and monster truck enthusiasts, it’s a nice time to come out and go through the mud, and the kids really love it,” Key said.

Most spectators, however, would say it’s a way to heckle Chevrolet or Ford fans, depending on where your loyalties lie.

There were more than 30 trucks in five different weight classes at the high-energy event. Different classes ranged from street class to unlimited-class trucks with custom-built engines capable of more than 2,000 horsepower.