Mud Fest organizers prepare for Saturday

Sean C. Morgan

Seventy-seven dump truck loads of rock should help out the traffic get on and off the highway Saturday during the 2011 Mud Fest just east of Holley.

Santiam Four-Wheel Drive Association members and volunteers widened and rocked the driveway to the property, where the event will be held, in an effort to keep the highway clear, mainly for safety’s sake on the highway, said Don Frick, a member of the association. The work at the entrance, along with rearrangements to parking, is about the only changes the club is making to the field this year.

Changes to the parking are meant to address a growing number of drivers who bring their four-wheelers in on trailers, Frick said.

The Mud Fest is in its second year at a private field off Highway 228 just east of Holley and Crescent Hill Road. Previously it had been held on private property off Berlin Road since 2001 and before that for about three decades on the bed of Foster Lake.

The event has sold 1,500 tickets, Frick said. He estimates that, including help, about 1,800 people will be there Saturday. The event has had upward of 7,500 attend when it was at Foster Lake.

He is hoping for sunny weather, he said. But unlike the Berlin Road site, rain isn’t needed to make the mud.

“It’s just always wet out here, all the time,” Frick said. Then again, “rain just makes it muddier – people like it. If it rains (all week), and it’s nice on Saturday, it’s ideal.

“I think it’ll be a good year. We never really have a bad year. Hopefully, this year, we’ve made it where we can get everyone in quickly off the highway.”

Frick said the association had a good response to the new location last year.

Last year, the association was learning its way around the site, Frick said. “People, when they left, they were happy. We’ve never really had any negative stuff.”

The current location has the same basic format as the event has had in the past, said Nancy Frick, a member of the association. It possesses individual events that the Mountain Mud Festival at Berlin Road offered and has more opportunity for the soupy, gooey mud than the Foster Mud Flats had.

The gates will open at 7 a.m., and the event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children 6 years of age and lower enter free and need no ticket. Everyone else must have an authentic 2011 Mud Fest ticket to enter the event. The event is sold out.

The event is limited to four-wheel drives. Only four-wheel-drive vehicles and four-wheel-drive tow vehicles will be allowed entrance.

Event proceeds are donated to local causes.

Those attending the event are required to read and familiarize themselves with the event rules. Alcohol, weapons, two-wheel-drive vehicles, semis, tractor trailers, and ATV/UTV’s are not allowed. There is no two-wheel-drive parking or Friday night trailer parking.