OURAY COUNTY – Sticky, gooey, squishy mud. It’s synonymous with spring in the San Juans. The Ouray Chamber Resort Association and the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to celebrate mud season, with the first annual Ouray County Mud Festival on Saturday, April 28, at the Ouray County Fairgrounds, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mud Fest offers the opportunity for participants and spectators, young and old, to play in the mud all day long.
Like to drive in the mud? Bring your 4x4 stock or modified 4x4 vehicle to compete in a timed obstacle course featuring mud pits, sand hills and tire, log and rock challenges. Or drive the mud run, a 130-foot trench just deep enough to require a little horsepower, skill and daredevil attitude.
Go blade to blade with southwestern Colorado's fastest John Deere’s and Toro’s in lawnmower races sponsored by Thunder Mountain Raceway from 10 a.m. to noon. If you have a riding mower and want to test its mettle, bring it and a helmet along the day of the event and sign up at 9 a.m.
Mobile FMX riders take the stage twice throughout the day in a high-flying freestyle motocross exhibition. Freestyle Motocross leaves spectators gasping in awe as riders and machines perform jumps and gravity defying tricks.
Family-friendly events in the fairgrounds arena include stick horse races, a tug of war, mud volleyball and an inflatable bounce house for little ones. Meet the racers from Thunder Mountain Raceway and check out their cool cars.
Vendors will be on hand throughout the day offering food, hot and cold beverages, souvenirs, and more. Raffle tickets will be available for the 48th Annual Ouray Jeep Raffle and the Ouray County 4-H Truck Raffle fundraisers.
Saturday evening, mudders can head to Ouray for the Mud Ball hosted by the Ouray Volunteer Fire Department. Bring the whole family and enjoy lively music, games and kids activities. The Mud Ball is held at the Ouray Community Center, 320 Sixth Avenue, from 7 to 10 p.m.
Register early for the best line-up placement or sign up the day of the event. Visit ouraycolorado.com for full details.
Get a head start on Mud Fest Friday evening in Ouray with a Mud Pub Crawl from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Pub Crawl kicks off at the Ourayle House Brewery from 4 to 6 p.m., then moves up the block to the Ouray Brewery from 6 to 8 p.m. and finishes at O’Brien’s Pub & Grill from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. with live music provided by local rock stars Already Been Chewed. Pick up your special mug at any of the locations along the crawl and get an entry for special prize drawings.
Advance tickets for Mud Fest are available in Montrose at Carquest-San Juan Motors and the Flower Motor Company, in Ouray at Buckskin Booksellers and the Ouray Visitors Center, and in Ridgway at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center and Cups. Tickets are $8/adults, $5/youth ages 5-17, and $25/family pass. Registration for the 4x4 Obstacle Course or Mud Run is $20 for one event, $30 for both.
Mud Fest Jeep Raffle
Tickets for the Ouray Chamber Resort Association’s 48th annual Jeep raffle go on sale at the inaugural Ouray County Mud Fest on Saturday, April 28. This year’s raffle Jeep is an orange “Crush” 2012 Jeep Wrangler 4x4 Sport with a tire and wheel package donated by Flower Motor Company and a lift kit provided by Switzerland of America Tours. The raffle drawing happens at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6 at the annual Oktoberfest celebration in the Ouray Community Center.Raffle tickets may be purchased at the Ouray Visitor Center and at participating Ouray businesses starting in May. The cost of tickets are: one/$5, three/$10, or seven/$20. Proceeds from OCRA’s annual Jeep raffle support student scholarships, town fireworks on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, and the purchase of a new Jeep for the next year’s raffle.Last year’s Jeep raffle sold approximately 12,000 tickets, with entries from all over the country, but especially from Colorado, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Raffle winners often return to Ouray over the Fourth of July to drive their Jeeps in the parade, decorated with phrases like “I won this Jeep in Ouray!,” or “I got my Wrangler for $10!”
Jeep Student Scholarship Award
The Ouray Chamber Resort Association is accepting applications for its Jeep Student Scholarship Award. All Ouray High School seniors and home school students living within Ouray city limits are encouraged to apply. The $1,000 scholarship is open to both college-bound and technical training programs.
The scholarship winner must complete 20 hours of volunteer time with OCRA by the end of the summer. This can be office work, visitor services or event assistance.
Applicants must submit an essay describing their experiences growing up in Ouray, and the value they place on the Ouray community, or the importance of community involvement to create a thriving business environment.
Complete application guidelines are available at the Ouray High School and the Ouray Visitors Center. The application deadline is May 11. Call 970/325-4746 for more details.
MUD FEST SCHEDULE Friday, April 27 Mud Pub Crawl in Ouray
• 4-6 p.m. Ourayle House Brewery
• 6-8 p.m. Ouray Brewery
• 8 p.m.-1 a.m. O'Brien's Pub & Grill (live music by Already Been Chewed)
Saturday, April 28
At Ridgway Fairgrounds
• 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mud Run & 4x4 Obstacle Course
• 10 a.m.-noon. Riding Lawnmower Races
• 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Family fun (mud volleyball, Thunder Mountain Raceway Meet & Greet, stick horse races, bounce house, tug of war)
• 4-5 p.m. FMX Motocross Exhibition
• 7-10 p.m. Mud Ball, Ouray Community Center
Info & registration: www.ouraycolorado.com