Big crowds turn out for MudBowl despite some rainy weather

2 weeks ago

CARIBOU, Maine – Spud Speedway’s newest festival brought out thousands of spectators throughout the weekend.

The first ever MudBowl lived up to its name. Starting on Friday, heavy rain made the speedway’s track even muddier than expected. 

Despite the weather, most events went on as planned, including the Maine truck and tractor pulls Saturday afternoon. Those who remained near the track donned ponchos and carried umbrellas to avoid getting soaked.

“We’re not going to let a little rain set us back,” said Spud Speedway co-owner Jim Gamage. 

On Sunday, people crowded the bleachers to watch trucks of various sizes compete to see how far they can drive without getting stuck in mud on the 200-foot track. Folks from Williams Construction in Limestone and the speedway often had to pull trucks out of the mud using a long cable, much to the delight of eager fans. 

Most of the rain held off until mid afternoon Sunday. Rain showers the previous evening postponed one of the mega monster truck shows to Sunday afternoon, which has delayed a planned car race until further notice, said speedway co-owner Troy Haney.

CARIBOU, Maine — June 9, 2024 — A truck splattered with mud gets stuck during the first ever mud runs at Spud Speedway. (Melissa Lizotte | Aroostook Republican)

The MudBowl also offered families many activities, including fair rides and food vendors from Smokey’s Greater Shows. Folks started entering the gates long before the mud runs Sunday to experience the fair.

“A lot of our friends are in the mud runs, so we decided to take the kids here for the rides,” said Renee Brewer of Houlton, as her son Pierson, 3, rode on a car-themed mini merry-go-round with friends Baylee McAfee, 6, and Braydon Fitzpatrick, 10.

The group from Houlton included Baylee’s parents Tara and Stephen McAfee, the latter of whom was taking part in the mud runs.

“This is our first time here [at Spud Speedway],” Tara McAfee said. “There’s plenty of rides for the kids and we like what we’ve seen so far.”

As of Monday, Haney had not confirmed how many people attended but estimated that the total would be in the thousands.

“We’ve only heard positive comments,” Haney said. “When people come out in the rain every day, that’s how you know people love what you’re doing.”