By Gene Axton
The 4-Wheel Jamboree is returning to the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds and it’s bringing some monster attractions with it—eight monsters, to be exact. The world’s fastest monster truck, Raminator, will be joined by The General, Rammunition, XDP and freestyle world champion Avenger.
The pack is rounded out by the appearance of three Bigfoot trucks in one competition which, according to 4-Wheel Jamboree Marketing Manager Emily Boden, is an unbelievable event in celebration of an unbelievable milestone.
“It’s a pretty big year because Bigfoot is celebrating their 40th anniversary,” Boden said. “The Retro Bigfoot (will be at the Jamboree), which is basically a replica of the original 1974 Bigfoot that started this whole phenomenon. There’s also the Lucas Oil Bigfoot and the Summit Bigfoot. Because of the anniversary, for each Jamboree—there’s a total of three of them—they’re doing custom paint jobs. The Summit Bigfoot will have a Power Wheels scheme to it, with all the flames.”
If the Power Wheels paint job conjures up feelings of nostalgia, Bigfoot driver Dan Runte can relate. Runte admits that he’s living a kid’s dream, but he’s turned that dream into a career as the most accomplished driver in the history of Team Bigfoot.
Runte has won 13 national championships and is a six-time Monster Truck Racing Association Driver of the Year. He holds the Guinness monster truck long jump record at 214’ 8” and the record for fastest monster truck in the 1/8 mile at 86.56 MPH. Runte has driven Bigfoot monster trucks into 25 years worth of venues, but he said that Bloomsburg is one of his top three favorite places to perform.
“The Bloomsburg Jamboree’s been going on so long that it’s just a really neat environment,” Runte said. “I was born and raised in the country and that’s kind of in the country to me so it just makes it more exciting. The event has been going on so long that they just have an awesome following. If you’ve never been to the Bloomsburg Jamboree you need to get there because it’s awesome. From show trucks to monster trucks, it’s an awesome family experience.”
The show trucks may not be as physically imposing as monster trucks, but they make up for what they lack in size with their numbers—there will be more than 3,200 custom 4-wheel trucks at the Bloomsburg Jamboree. The trucks on display will range from show trucks in pristine condition to rugged 4-wheel workhorses. The public can register their own trucks in the Jamboree as well—any make or model of 4-wheel drive truck is $90 to register at the fairground beginning July 9.
Boden said the Bloomsburg 4-Wheel Jamboree is the “State Fair for Gearheads,” and she may be right—the event is in its 28th year and, according to Boden, is America’s largest 4×4 series. The Jamboree will showcase mud bogs, tough trucks, mud drags and a burnout competition along with the monster truck performances and show trucks.
The Bloomsburg Jamboree is three days dedicated to four wheels, and this year’s iteration features a monster lineup of Bigfoot proportions.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @TLArts