More Mud Madness Headed for Ouray County
by Samantha Wright
Apr 01, 2013 | 1740 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MUD MADNESS at last year’s Ouray County Mud Fest held at the Ouray County Fairgrounds in Ridgway. (File photo)
MUD MADNESS at last year’s Ouray County Mud Fest held at the Ouray County Fairgrounds in Ridgway. (File photo)
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Second Annual Mud Fest Features 4X4 Obstacle Course, Motocross Expo and More

OURAY COUNTY – The Ouray County Fairgrounds will be transformed into a giant muddy playground on the last weekend of April, for the second annual Ouray County Mud Fest. 

The Ouray Chamber Resort Association (OCRA) and the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce (RACC) have once again teamed up to host this celebration of all things muddy. The event provides ample opportunity for locals and regional visitors to compete and play in the abundance of glorious Ouray County mud.

Last year’s inaugural Mud Fest attracted 1,400 participants and onlookers from across the Western Slope and was deemed a fantastically messy, squashy, muddy success. This year, organizers are hoping to see their muddy baby grow even bigger, with two full days of activities planned, compared to last year’s single-day event.  

OCRA Board of Directors President Tamara Gulde and her team have been up to their hip-waders organizing the event for months.  “I’m excited about the whole thing; there is a lot of new stuff this year,” Gulde said – including a new 5K Mud Run, a buggy expo and a high-octane NSPA-sanctioned truck pull.

Get in a muddy mindset at the Mud Jam Ball, a pre-registration bash held at the Ouray Community Center on Friday night, April 26 from 4-8 p.m. The evening features live music with the David Starr Band of Cedaredge, and an opportunity for entrants to pre-register for the 4X4 Mud Fest events. Door prizes and other promotional products will be given out from both regional and national off-road accessory vendors.

Entry to the Mud Jam Ball is only $5 for adults and children are free. Beer and wine will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the second annual Mountain Air Music Series. 

On Saturday and Sunday, the action shifts to the Ouray County Fairgrounds. Gates open at 9 a.m., with a daily entry fee of $10 for adults and $5 for children. 

The Ouray County Commissioners, who signed a proclamation last month deeming April 26-27-28 as “Mud Fest 2013 Recognition Week,” have agreed to be this year’s Mud Fest Grand Marshals, and will preside over an opening ceremony on Saturday morning.

At 9:30 a.m., family fun gets underway – think mud volleyball, mud tug-o’-war, mud horseshoes, and a huge bounce house, all hosted by the Colorado National Guard, the Ridgway and Ouray Volunteer Fire Departments and RACC. Local food vendors will be on hand to feed the hordes. 

Thunder Mountain Raceway returns this year to emcee the 4X4 events, which roar into action at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and continue throughout the afternoon. 

On Saturday, participants are challenged to bring their stock or modified 4x4 vehicles to compete against each other in the rock-crawling, sand-climbing, log-crunching action of a timed quarter-mile obstacle course and side-by-side mud racing. 

Weather permitting, Warrior Productions will stage high-flying, gravity defying stunts of freestyle motocross daredevils during a couple of scheduled breaks in the action on Saturday afternoon.

For folks who prefer to propel themselves through the mud on their own two feet, local running legend John Ferguson has agreed to host a Mud Fest 5K foot race on Sunday morning, April 28, as part of his 2013 Ouray County Race Series. 

The course will start and end near the fairgrounds, and likely will include an optional “mud element”, Gulde said. Registration is $25 per runner, with all proceeds going toward a fund to restore and repair the Ouray County Fairgrounds. 

Also bright and early on Sunday morning, there will be a RockWorx 4X4 monster buggy expo. These heavily modified, trail-hammering vehicles have giant wheels and ride very low to the ground, swarming effortlessly over rocks and other obstacles.

Family events on Sunday should start by around 10 a.m. with 4x4 finals getting underway soon after.

Also on Sunday, don’t miss the new NSPA (National Sled Pullers Association)-registered Truck Pull hosted by Alpine Off-Road. Feel the heavy power and roar of street, stock and modified diesels as powered-up vehicles from all over the region compete from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

With all of these events happening simultaneously at different parts of the fairgrounds, it should make for a very lively day, wrapping up with an awards ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m.

The growing scope of the Ouray County Mud Fest means there is a greater need for volunteers. “We have 309 single shifts to fill,” Gulde said. Each shift lasts for three hours. Volunteers get a T-shirt and free entry into the festival grounds.

Early-bird registration is currently underway for the 4X4 mud run and obstacle course events, with an entry fee of $35 for one event, and $50 for two. Registration fees are slightly higher for last-minute entrants who register on the day of the event. Register or volunteer for the Ouray County Mud Fest at www.ouraycolorado.com (click on the Mud Fest logo). 

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