If it weren't for the Summer 4-Wheel Jamboree, we'd bet that a lot less people would know where Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, is located. But as it is, most 4x4 fans can instantly find the burg's location on a Pennsylvania map. For that matter, most folks can probably also find towns such as Danville, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, and a score of other small Pennsylvania towns, because the huge influx of people into the Summer Jambo quickly gobbles up the limited number of motel rooms in the area, forcing Jambo attendees to stay as far as an hour away from the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds.
It's a mystery how such an unusual location could foster such a huge 4x4 event - or is it? Maybe it's a combination of the date (the weekend after the Fourth of July) and the idyllic, picturesque location that oozes Americana. Who knows? The reasons really don't matter when you have a weekend filled with events that cater to every facet of four-wheeling, and the 2001 Summer Jambo offers exactly that.
Special Events Race Director Greg Fuchs had his hands full through the course of the three-day event, juggling the umpteen kinds of 4x4 racing on the infield. There were eight monster trucks, including Grave Digger and Bigfoot, six classes of mud racing (sanctioned by the NMRO), two classes of Tough Trucks (stock and modified), Tug-A-Trucks, burnout competitors, and let's not forget the jet-powered truck that torched innocent cars to a crisp. The infield racing action kicked off early each day and ran nonstop until sunset, except for Saturday, which offered spectators an evening show that went late into the night and wrapped up with a huge fireworks display.
Show 'N' Shine
The Bloomsburg Fairgrounds is only a short distance from four-wheeling hotspots such as the Paragon Adventure Park in Hazleton, and because of this, we saw a record number of trail-ready machines tucked between daily drivers and awesome show trucks. We even saw our buddies from the Mudd'n Militia Off Road Wrecking Crew and their collection of trail-ready fullsized rigs, among many others. Of course, they didn't win any Show-'n'-Shine awards; those tend to be won by clean daily drivers such as TJ Ryan's '78 Ford, which won the Best Paint award in the Street Class, or Dennis Lindenmoyer's stunning '47 Chevy, which won a slew of awards in the Modified Class.
Part of the allure of the Special Events Performance Series is the huge number of aftermarket vendors that flock to the event with their wares, and Bloomsburg had a record number of companies in attendance that brought with them loads of their products. For instance, Greg, Mark, and their whole crew from National Tire & Wheel were on hand with three semi-truck trailer loads of the most popular sizes of truck tires, and they were available for instant delivery. This dedication to instant delivery carried over to other vendors as well, and hundreds of folks were seen carrying out products for their 4x4s. The final tally indicated that there were more than 50 vendors lining the sprawling Performance Marketplace.
That's Not All
In addition to the racing action, the Show 'n' Shine, and the Performance Marketplace, the Main Stage was hopping, and it was the place to be for the kids' and adult games, as well as the Miss 4-Wheel Jamboree contest and the hourly Super Prize giveaway. On Sunday, Main Stage maharishi Joe Pagano oversaw the huge awards ceremony, which doled out thousands of dollars in trophies, plaques, and prizes to the winners of the professionally judged Show 'n' Shine. This was also the time and place for the awarding of the OFF-ROAD Magazine Editor's Choice award, which we presented to Tommy Bowles of Greenville, Virginia, for his awesome daily driven '97 Ford pickup. Look for a full feature on this great-looking truck in an upcoming issue of OFF-ROAD.
Folks who helped make the Summer Jambo a huge success include the Boondockers 4x4 Club and Blackwell and Friends who helped in registration and tech, respectively. A big round of applause also goes out to Steve Bessey from Kissimmee, Florida, for taking home the Long Distance Award for traveling 1,150 miles to be a part of the Summer Jambo. Finally, the Lehigh Valley 4x4 Club needs to be recognized for its awesome participation with 84 vehicles, which earned it the Best Club Attendance award.
For more information on the 2002 Summer Jambo or any of the jambos in the Special Events Performance Series, contact: Special Events, Dept. OR, 804 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46204, (317) 236-6525, www.familyevents.com.