Get ready to see trucks topple and smoke pour out from hardcore motor vehicles at the 2018 Northeast Off-Road Jamboree. This annual event, hosted by Northeast Performance Diesel, is coming to the Cheshire Fairground in Swanzey on Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, and will feature a number of events to showcase motorsports ranging from motorcycle and ATV pulling, to rock crawls and monster trucks.
“We just do this for fun,” said Cathy Rumore, who organizes the Off-Road Jamboree. “I like to put on something that is fun for everyone to enjoy. The participants worry about points during the season, or some don’t have many events to go to at all, but this is just low-stress and for fun. People can see how their trucks are running or have the chance to compete if they are looking for more events to do.”
What started as just a dyno day, which is a machine that measures the horsepower of a diesel truck, to promote her business (Northeast Performance Diesel) has grown bigger and bigger. Every year Rumore tries to outdo herself and keep the event from stagnating and getting boring.
So, to keep the excitement, in 2018 there will be pulling events where the various motor vehicles will be hooked to a weighted sled they will then attempt to pull, an obstacle course, a rock crawl, tug of war, and a monster truck show. Among the vehicles competing will be ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles and trucks of many sizes.
“People are always wondering what events I’ll do the next year. I actually have people contact me in August and September to ask what I am planning for the following year,” Rumore said.
Rumore is a one-woman show who plans each Off-Road Jamboree entirely by herself. She takes a few months off after each show weekend for a respite before jumping back in and getting ready for the following year. Rumore’s planning tasks includes getting vendors and insurance, finding sponsors so she can award prizes to class winners, coordinating with her participants, ordering tickets and T-shirts and working with the volunteers, one of which is her own husband.
“Everything I plan my husband has to make happen,” she joked while adding that, for example, he constructs the pull sled.
Once all the details are locked in, Rumore is ready to throw open the gates and welcome everyone for the weekend. Since competitors do not register until the morning of, she is never fully certain how many vehicles might show up. She does know, however, that there will be enough for a full day of events in front of an expected crowd of 3,000 people. Already, the event’s Facebook page lists more than 2,500 people who are interested in coming.
“I want everyone to have a really good time with family and friends and know that it is a chance to be outside and away from the computer and other stuff like that,” Rumore said. “People come and get together and can use their equipment where it is fun and legal. I tell people who have never pulled their truck that this is a great place to start as it is nonjudgmental, and we will give you tips to get you started.
“I think for the spectators, they like to see the smoke that the vehicles put out and the trucks rolling over in the rock crawl,” Rumore added. “And the motorcycle pull, too, as that’s not something you see very often.”
For those bringing trucks, Rumore speculated that the common thread among them is a love of motorsports, but the hobby attracts a wide variety of people from teenagers on up through generations. She expects a three-generational family to come this year where the father, grandfather and granddaughter will all pull. Given the smallest ATV class that Rumore has set up is small enough for youth to pull, the Jamboree is truly a chance for families to enjoy the motorsports hobby together.
Rumore has worked hard to plan an event that can be an all-day family-friendly outing. There will be a number of vendors present selling related goods plus fair-style food like hamburgers, hot dogs, cotton candy and ice cream. Young kids will also be thrilled at the chance to take a ride in a monster truck with 73-foot tires.
The Off-Road Jamboree anticipates trucks and vehicles arriving from across the region including all of New England and Canada. Locally, diesel class entrants will include Jeff Doyle, Conner Hamilton, Jim Pennell, John Cole and Trevor Rose, all from the Brattleboro area.
“I think everyone enjoys the camaraderie among the competition. They build friendships and it is almost like a big party. The stress is off, and they watch others compete and help each other,” Rumore said. “The one thing with my truck pullers is that they all like to help each other.”
Tickets for the 2018 Off Road Jamboree are available at the gate. The price is $20 for ages 13 and up, $5 for children ages six to 12 and free for children under age six. Camping is also available. To learn more, visit Northeast Performance Diesel on Facebook and click “Events.”