HEBRON, Maine — Hundreds came to party Saturday at the Redneck Olympics. Aside from the beer, the mud runs and the lawn mower racing, the games were rowdy, funny and accompanied by cheering and laughter.
In the Tire Beer Trot, contestants ran through two rows of tires with a cup of beer in each hand. Some tripped over the tires. Some made it to the end, where a judge made sure they didn’t spill much, which was a disqualification.
If they didn’t spill it, they drank one whole cup and ran through the tires again. The first to finish their second beer afterward was the winner. Only 16 were chosen by lottery to play. As they played, Billy Currington’s “I’m Pretty Good at Drinking Beer” and George Thorogood’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer” roared over the loudspeakers.
Near the end, Jeff St. Amand of L-A Music Factory, master of ceremonies for the event, announced that they had a problem. They were out of Budweiser cans for contestants to drink down. Luckily, someone happened by with a few extra cans.
Like the festival itself, most entered the contest without knowing what they were getting into.
Jane Horrigan of Poland said she knew it involved agility and free beer. She said she didn’t know what the rules were when she signed up, only that contestants had to be 21.
“I thought, ‘Well, we’ll follow whatever they say.’” Horrigan didn’t win but said she had a great time.
“This is the funnest thing I’ve done all summer,” said Jaime Hart of Poland, who is Horrigan’s sister. Horrigan, Hart and Horrigan’s daughter Hannah competed in the tug-of-war and were on silver- and bronze-winning teams.
Hannah Horrigan said she lives in Portland and doesn’t consider herself a redneck. “This is the last place I thought I’d be,” she said. “I’m a city person.”
But there was plenty to do for rednecks and city slickers alike. In addition to the tug-of-war and the beer trot, attendees could try bobbing for pigs’ feet, wife-carrying, the mud flop, toilet-seat horseshoes, a greased watermelon haul or a pie-eating contest.
The games started at around 1 p.m., after a man in a pig costume carrying a tiki torch lighted the Redneck Olympic Torch, a pile of wood in a barrel.
Anyone with a truck or an ATV could run it through a mud pit. There was no entry fee, and driver after driver became stuck and had to be hauled out.
Rodney Englehaupt of Oxford stood by the mud run, shouting at the drivers and recording their runs with his phone.
“If people want to take their trucks in, let them,” Englehaupt said. He said he used to run in the mud when he was young, but he needs his truck for work now.
Shortly after he said that, a white Toyota’s front fender broke as an excavator from Washburn and Sons Excavation hauled it out with a chain.
Who would make it through and who wouldn’t was anybody’s guess. Small ATVs plowed through while trucks high on lift kits sputtered and spun out.
Later in the night, there was a pig roast and live music. A beer tent run by the American Legion benefited homeless veterans, but most of the beer was in Styrofoam cozies, roaming freely around the grounds.
In the food tent, hundreds kept out of the sun, including Bump Vosmus of Bowdoin. Vosmus said he rode up on his motorcycle and spent the day watching the mud run and the lawn mower races.
“I had a good time,” he said. Would he come back next year if there was a sequel? “Yeah, probably.”
ATVs and golf carts slowly wove through the crowd. Drivers were courteous and no one insulted anyone.
St. Amand kept the mood light. When calling for more contestants in the wife-carrying contest, he pointed to the man in the pig costume who lighted the Redneck Olympic Torch and said, “The pig said he wanted to do it, but his wife is on the rotisserie.”
Organizer and landowner Howard Brooks rode his ATV around the grounds, where he seemed to know everyone. “It’s going great,” he said over the noise. “It’s great out here.”
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