Mud-pit races highlight of event
The ever-popular mud pit will be back for another work-out at the 2012 Jericho ATV Festival, coming up on July 27 and 28 at Jericho Mountain State Park.
Forget how your mother told you not to play in the mud. At the Jericho Festival mothers — and fathers and grandparents, too — can cheer on their adult offspring as they zoom through the mucky soup. Indeed, if you look closely behind those mud-splotched visors, you can see that some of those daring riders are not exactly spring chickens, and those children shouting from the sidelines are their grandchildren.
It's all in good fun, and though the mud pit races are the main attraction over the two-day festival, there's lots of good riding, too, at the 7,500-acre ATV park. The park, on Jericho Road, west of downtown Berlin on Route 110, has more than 75 miles of trails for riders of all abilities, from gravel roads to winding trails through the woods. The views are fantastic, and the wildlife — moose sightings are not uncommon — is an extra bonus.
City open to OHRV traffic
Berlin is set to rival the Lakes Region motorcycle week this year, as the city fathers have agreed to allow OHRV traffic on all of the city's streets during the festival.
“It's going to be bigger and better. Don't miss out!” Paula Kinney of the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce said. Kinney said the food offerings also have expanded this year, so no one should ride off hungry.
Festival-goers can get all the toppings they want on their wood-fired pizza from Mountain Fire Pizza, indulge in some pulled-pork sandwiches from My Guy's BBQ, cool down with some Hawaiian shaved ice, or sate their appetites with the traditional fare of hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages and more.
Gates open at 8 a.m. each day, with a Poker Run on Friday at 9 a.m. The first place prize for the Poker Run is a 25,000-pound winch plus cash.
Mud pit grudge runs, which can pit friends against friends, go from 2 to 5 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, mud races start at 10 a.m. There will be five special classes of racers, from amateur to pro stock, and an open, take-all-comers category. An obstacle course will be open all day, too.
Among the vendors on site will be Jericho Motorsports, F.B. Spaulding, Dalton Mountain Motor Sports, Absolute Powersports, S.M.A.R.T, GPS Trailmasters and the Army National Guard. Besides the mud pit races, there will be demos, pulls and guided trail rides.
New this year, and opening on July 26, is a campground with 20 primitive campsites, five cabins and six campsites, and RV sites. The campground has water and toilet facilities.
The park is open all year round, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., except during mud season — so the festival is a once-a-year chance to enjoy getting really down and dirty.
The entry fee for the festival is $5 a day, with children 12 and under admitted free, except when riding their own ATV, then it is $3 a day.
Jericho Mountain State Park offers water activities at Jericho Lake, too, with a pavilion and a boat launch available for visitors. The lake's sandy beach is ideal for young families. Entry to the park is $4 for adults and $2 for children 11 and under.
The festival is presented by the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, the City of Berlin and the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club, along with other sponsors. For more information, go to jerichoatvfestival.com.
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Sara Young-Knox may be reached at email@example.com.
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