HEBRON, Maine — When the Redneck “Blank” kicks off next Friday, organizer Harold Brooks said he hopes participants will have a weekend they never forget.
“I want people to leave going, ‘Oh my God, that was a lot of fun,’” he said Thursday.
This year, the event formerly called the Redneck Olympics will coincide with the Olympic Games in London, though it will be hard to confuse them.
While athletes in London compete in soccer and gymnastics, participants at the Redneck Blank will be hauling greased watermelons and playing tug of war over a big, wet mud pit.
One thing the Redneck Blank will have in common with the Olympics is that both will be televised. Brooks said a TV show plans to film the proceedings, and is looking for contestants to interview on Friday. Brooks said he can’t reveal the name of the TV show, but said anyone who plans on competing and would be willing to be interviewed on camera can contact him at email@example.com.
He said the Mallett Brothers, a country-rock band from Portland, will be filming a music video there as well.
As the event grows in scale this year, Brooks said he has hit more snags along the way. Last week, an attorney representing the United States Olympic Committee told him to change his email address and Facebook page name. He hasn’t.
He said signs he has posted on telephone poles in the area have run afoul of local laws, including the state’s ban on billboards. Brooks said a DOT official who called him about the signs joked that he wasn’t working in collusion with the Olympic Committee.
Brooks said the competitions will take center stage this year. They will be held in the amphitheater he built for the rodeo last month, with more than 2,000 bleacher seats. The brave and competitive can enter bobbing for pigs feet, toilet seat throws, horseshoes, pie eating, wife carrying, a tire trot beer chug, greased watermelon haul, tug of mud war and mud flop contests.
In addition, there will be lawn mower races and a deep mud pit again to run trucks through. Brooks said he’s doubling the camping space, will be roasting more pigs than last year, and will have a 20-foot bonfire.
Brooks said that competing, not just passively watching events, is what makes the Redneck Blank special. He said he wants everyone to feel like part of the festival, as they do at Burning Man, an annual gathering in Nevada.
“Everyone just wants to just do something a little bit extraordinary, a little more wild,” he said. “When it snows next winter, I want them to say ‘Remember how much fun we had?’ I want them to talk about it.”
There will be live music by the Mallet Brothers as well as local bands Uncle Jack, Motor Booty Affair, Veggies by Day, Gypsy, Stronghold, Twice Shy, Mainestream, Stolen Mojo, Strict 9 and Dirty McCurdy.
Tickets are $45 for the weekend or $20 per day. They can be purchased at redneckmaine.com or at the gate.
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