A sure sign of spring: Mudding at Sporty's

MINERVA - Spring is officially here and that was the theme in Minerva Saturday, April 4 as dozens of 4x4 owners and nearly 700 spectators gathered at Sporty's Iron Duke Saloon for the fifth annual Jeep Jamboree.

"After a long, hard winter it's fun to get out and socialize while having some fun in the mud," Sporty's owner Sporty Beale said. "This is a true celebration of spring."

The event centered around steep grade behind the bar itself, with flowing rivers of mud and large rock outcroppings.

Participants took the opportunity to climb the hill, searching for the best line. On many occasions, a driver instead found a deep pit of thick mud, often requiring them to dig their way out before reversing out of the trap.

"It is such a challenge to see if you can make it or not," 4x4 enthusiast Hawk Millington said. "These days, there is no place to go off-roading anymore."

During the last several years, increased regulation has reduced the number of places off-road trucks can go - making this event even more powerful.

"This is a great thing - without a controlled environment, riders often end up going somewhere they shouldn't be," New York State Powersport Dealer's Association Executive Director Bob Ski said.

For the spectators, the jamboree was just pure fun.

"This is great to watch," Amy Carson said. "It's all about getting dirty and seeing friends."

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