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Truck Fest is March 2-4 at Hernando Fairgrounds

BROOKSVILLE — Things will get a little dirty this weekend at the Hernando County Fairgrounds.

Open mud pits, truck shows, country music, sled pulls and obstacle course racing are among the many activities planned for the Brooksville Pulling Association's first Truck Fest. The event kicks off at noon today and continues through Sunday.

"There will be something for everyone, from the little guys to grown men, and women, too," said Angie Okrasinski, a member of the Hernando County Fair Board.

Okrasinski said that although the fairgrounds has played host to many truck-pulling events over the years, this weekend's event will offer much more.

"It definitely will be a lot of fun," she said.

The weekend's headline music act is McKinley and Beggs (9-11 p.m. today; 6 p.m. to close Saturday). J.T. Curtis opens for them at 4 p.m. both days.

McKinley and Beggs, founded by country music legend Mel Tillis in 2008, received critical acclaim for their debut album, By the Fire. Their second album features the hit Things I Like to Do.

"If Mel Tillis thinks they're great, you can be sure they are," said Truck Fest organizer Richard Klimas with the Brooksville Pulling Association.

There could be an appearance by Tillis himself, or possibly his daughter, country singer Pam Tillis.

"I'm hoping he shows up," Klimas said. "There are no guarantees, but he is known to show up at the big events, and this is definitely considered a big event."

On Sunday, Peter Hunt and the Southern Branded Band play from noon to 4 p.m.

Today's Truck Fest highlights include the Miss Truck Fest contest. But it won't be an ordinary beauty contest. Women 18 and older who compete must bring their truck or a truck that represents them.

"(Contestants) can't just come out and be pretty," Klimas said. "They must change a mud truck tire and ride the bull. And after getting nice and dirty, they'll go in front of the judges and answer (truck-related) questions."

Competitions are open to all with more than $10,000 in cash and prizes, including more than $1,500 today's truck show and more than $6,000 for Saturday's mud racing obstacle course. The marquis Big Air competition Sunday will include trucks of all sizes. The truck that gets the farthest off the ground wins the freestyle jam.He said one owner has boasted that he can get to 137 mph within 200 feet.

"I'm waiting to see that," Klimas said.

If you go

What: Truck Fest, presented by the Hernando

Pulling Association

When: Gates open at noon today and at 10 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday

Where: Hernando County Fairgrounds,

6436 S Broad St., Brooksville

Cost: $15 per day or $30 for the weekend for adults and youth 11 and older; free for children 10 and younger

Contact: Brooksville Pulling Association at

brooksvillepulling.com, (352) 585-1062 or

mail@brooksvillepulling.com; fairgrounds at

(352) 796-4552 or hernandofairgrounds.com

Schedule

Today

Noon: Gates open, midway, swap meet.

1-6 p.m.: Open pit pass.

4-9 p.m.: J.T. Curtis performs.

6 p.m.: Miss/Jr. Miss Truck Fest in the barn (signups start at 4 p.m.). Winner announced at 9:30 p.m.

6-11 p.m.: Mechanical bull and music in the barn

7-9 p.m.: Truck Show and Jeep Jam in the arena (signups start at 4 p.m.). Winner announced during concert.

8-11 p.m.: Cornhole tournament in the barn (signups start at 5 p.m.)

9-11 p.m.: McKinley and Beggs perform.

SATURDAY

10 a.m.: Gates open, midway, flea market, swap meet

10 a.m. to noon: Open pit pass

12:30 p.m.: Obstacle course challenge (signups start at 10 a.m.; drivers' meeting at noon). Stock trucks (registered and insured), DOT Class and Unlimited Class

6 p.m.: Sled pulls in the outdoor arena (signups start at 3 p.m.; drivers' meeting at 5:30 p.m.)

6-11 p.m.: Mechanical bull, music in the barn

9 p.m.: 8 Second Rodeo Contest for Guys and Gals (signups start at 7 p.m.)

SUNDAY

10 a.m.: Gates open, midway, swap meet, flea market

10 a.m. to noon: Open pit pass

Noon-4 p.m.: Pete Hunt and Southern Branded Band

Noon: Kids Powerwheel Races in the arena (signups start at 10 a.m.; meeting at 11:45 a.m.). Races are in two age groups: 6 and under and 10 and under. Stock and modified classes.

1 p.m.: Freestyle Competition (signups start at 10 a.m.; drivers' meeting at 12:30 p.m.)

3 p.m.: Big Air Competition (signups start at 10 a.m.; drivers' meeting at 12:30 p.m.)

Truck Fest is March 2-4 at Hernando Fairgrounds 03/01/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 1, 2012 4:47pm]

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