MELBOURNE - Even the mud was closed during the Covid shutdowns of the last two years. On June 11, everyone was welcome to get stuck once again at the Mud Madness near Melbourne.
And it is getting messy for a good cause. Property owner Marty Welch said over $55,000 has been raised for local charities and causes, including up to $10,000 this year thanks to sponsors. Three local food banks, volunteer firefighter departments and a few with a good cause who approach them have been the beneficiaries.
“One person can’t give much, but when all of us come together to give something you can give a lot,” said Welch.
The biannual event is cranking up again after the two-year hiatus, returning again Aug. 27 with more mud, camping and a concert. The music was a key component when Welch and a few friends dreamed up this event in the garage over a few beverages.
About 800 came to watch the madness this time, a drop from the August 2019 crowd of 3,000. Welch blames supply issues effecting everything making it hard to pick up a used truck to muck about with. He also said it is like starting all over again to draw people.
That first draw was eight years and 12 events ago, when it seemed like nobody would show with no presale tickets. Then 600 showed up to the gate.
Welch was not sure why he and others loved making such a mess, though the kids splashing in the puddles and strapping on a seatbelt to ride with parents might give a hint.
“I’m a farm kid. I grew up getting yelled at if you drove through the mud... but once I started driving through mud, it’s a lot of fun,” said Welch, who was busy towing even after the event.
“Even our campers, because we got the rain on Sunday morning, trying to leave were driving through our muddy mess.”
Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner