Berlin's Jericho ATV Festival extended to 3 daysBy JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent July 29. 2014 9:58PM
BERLIN — Having grown into one of the largest and most popular events of its kind on the East Coast and boasting a new, secret recipe for mud, the Jericho ATV Festival returns this weekend to the City That Trees Built with even more fun and events for riders and non-riders alike.
Started in 2010 by the Androscoggin ATV Club, the Jericho ATV Festival will again take place at Jericho Mountain State Park as well as in downtown Berlin, with the action this year again starting on Friday but in a reflection of the festival’s stature, now extending through Sunday.
Along with RiverFire in October, “This is one of our signature events,” said Paula Kinney, the executive coordinator of the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, on Monday. Kinney said that in 2012 the chamber joined with the Androscoggin ATV Club to promote the ATV festival, which she called a significant “economic boost for our area.”
In 2013, the festival attracted some 2,500 attendees, Kinney said, the hope is that this year twice that many make it out to the event. She noted that the 2014 festival was pushed back a week to accommodate Polaris, which will introduce its 2015 line of ATVs in Berlin, to be joined by Arctic Cat, Can-Am and Yamaha in offering free demo rides on both Friday and Saturday.
In addition to the demo rides, Friday’s activities will include an ATV poker run; “grudge runs” in the 200-foot long, 50-foot wide, mud pit; an obstacle course; and an assortment of both food and ATV after-market vendors; as well as an ATV simulator.
At the end of the day Friday, Main Street in Berlin will be turned into one large block party featuring music, a beer tent, and restaurants serving food al fresco. At 9 p.m., there will be a torch-lit parade of ATVs, quads and side-by sides that will do a loop route through the downtown.
Activities begin Saturday at 9 a.m. with a blessing of the ATVs after which the officiants themselves will travel through the mud pit, to be followed by mud racing and the awarding of cash and trophies in different classes.
“Wreck the dress,” wherein female riders travel through the mud pit while wearing their wedding gowns, is also on Saturday’s agenda as is the first-ever appearance at the ATV by the Rave X stunt riding team and ATV pulls.
Rave X will be doing shows at 11:30 a.m. and also at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.; times are approximate.
On Saturday evening, the inaugural Jericho Music Festival will be held at the Notre Dame arena and will include food, drink and performances by two bands – Shine and Duke.
The festival wraps up Sunday with a pancake breakfast at the arena.
Admission is $5 per person on Friday, $10 on Saturday and free on Sunday. Children under 6 are free both Friday and Saturday.
Only ATVs will be able to access Jericho Mountain State park during the festival. All other vehicles must park in designated lots along Route 110. Buses will run every half hour on Friday and Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.
For more information about the 2014 Jericho ATV Festival call the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce at 752-6060 or go to: www.jerichoatvfestival.com.