High-energy trucks compete in Sumter

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If you're looking for some excitement this weekend, consider seeing some high-flying trucks during the Sumter Fall Nationals Monster Truck Showdown at the Sumter fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday.

The event will showcase five professional-level monster trucks - Bounty Hunter, Scarlet Bandit, Jekyll and Hyde, Red Baron and Redneck Road Trip - as the drivers compete in wheelie and donut contests, crushing cars, racing and more.

Peter St. Onge, vice commander for Post 15 and Sumter fairgrounds manager, said the five trucks that will be in the show are on display at four businesses in Sumter and on Shaw Air Force Base.

St. Onge said the event's organizer, 2Xtreme Racing, began preparing the venue on Wednesday by setting up the track and preparing the vehicles that will be crushed during the shows.

American Legion Post 15 is very happy to have the fairgrounds to host events such as the monster truck show for the community, he said.

Ron Woodbridge, promoter and coordinator for 2Xtreme Racing, said the company does about 50 shows throughout the country each year.

Children between the ages of 3 and 10 are some of the biggest fans. Some kids have toy monster trucks, and they see those toys come alive when they attend a show, he said.

Monster truck shows still are for all ages and attract a variety of spectators, he said.

The trucks are 10 to 12 feet tall and weigh about 12,000 pounds, he said.

Woodbridge said the spacious outdoor venue at the fairgrounds will allow the trucks to get more air for stunts and give a more entertaining show than the usual enclosed venue. It will be high-energy and non-stop action, he said.

He said the company is bringing 1,000 portable chairs but that spectators are welcome to bring lawn chairs.

There will also be food and drinks, and there will be vendors selling souvenirs, including earmuffs, he said.

Woodbridge encourages anyone who purchases a ticket to attend the pre-show event to meet the drivers and get a closer look at the trucks.

Redneck Road Trip will be selling rides to visitors during the pre-show, intermission and post-show, he said. There will also be time for autographs after the shows.

Woodbridge said the goal is to make the show an annual event in Sumter.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. on Friday, and the show will start at 7:30 p.m. Gates will open at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the show will start at 4 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased in advance - $12 for children 3 to 12 years old and $15 for adults 13 and older - at Myson's Tire Sales at 3272 Broad St. and online at www.sumtermonstertruckshows.eventbrite.com. Children younger than 2 get in free.

Cash-only tickets purchased at the door are $15 for children and $20 for adults.

St. Onge said people who purchase their tickets online will have the opportunity to enter a giveaway to win four tickets to the show on Saturday as well as ride in one of the monster trucks during the Veterans Day Parade that morning.

The trucks will be included in American Legion's slot during the parade, he said.

For more information, go to the Sumter Fair by American Legion Post 15 Facebook page.