by Todd Wellington
When the Caledonia County Fair Association got the idea to build a mud bog and host mud events, the directors had no idea that opening day would be as successful as it turned out to be.
An estimated 3,000 people showed up to watch the first annual Caledonia Mud Bog on the July Fourth weekend. Most of those people covered the hillside overlooking the pit and cheered enthusiastically for the four-wheeled warriors and their mud-eating machines.
"I was very thrilled and very satisfied with the turnout," said fair association President Richard Lawrence. "It was mind boggling how many people were there."
Asked if he knew why mud bogging seems to be such a big draw, Lawrence was himself searching for an answer. "If I knew that, we'd have started this a long time ago!" he quipped.
However, Lawrence was quick to deflect the credit for what now looks to be a permanent fixture at the fairgrounds.
"A lot of people made this happen," said Lawrence. "It was a community effort. A lot of the support came from outside of the fair association." The bog itself drew praise from out-of-state boggers for its design, location, and construction. "It was a huge success, no question," said Lawrence. Contestants were from as far away as Maine and Pennsylvania. The entire weekend went well for the CCFA as an estimated 7,000 people showed up for a combination of bogging, fireworks, and dance. The next two mud bog events at the Caledonia County Fairgrounds will be held Aug. 23 and Sept.13. Both events will start at 1 p.m., with registrations accepted before noon. All classes except for nitrous oxide-injected cars will be accepted.