Madness In May, a Family Tradition


Story by Duane Garretson, Come Get Ya Some Offroad
Pictures by Tina Papasan

Originally Published in Issue 28 of 4Low Magazine

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Madness In May is a family oriented off-road weekend packed full of short competitions, trail riding, live music, kid’s activities  and finishing up the weekend  with the Sunday Funday Poker Run.  Memorial Madness was created as a F.O.U.R. X. C.L.U.B event by Duane Garretson when he was president of that local 4×4 club.  As Duane began his business, Come Get Ya Some, he stepped down as president and the following year the club dissolved.   Duane took the event weekend on as a marketing opportunity for Come Get Ya Some Offroad and in 2002 “Madness In May” was born!  The event has been held Memorial Day Weekend at Byrd’s Adventure Center in Ozark, Arkansas since.

The event starts on Friday night and runs through Sunday afternoon. Currently averaging 750 people and 350 rigs, the event continues to grow. It is a weekend of fun and friendly competitions for almost any type of 4×4 rig. There is a SXS/UTV class, a Small Tire class consisting of mostly full frame rigs with a 36″ maximum tire height, a Big Tire Class consisting of mostly full frame rigs and with a minimum tire height of 37″ and a Buggy Class (Unlimited modifications).  There is cash and/or prizes for each event in each class, so there are a lot of winners.  Local friends at JBI Custom Metal Fabrication have made the Madness In May trophies for the past several years now and they are coveted among the competitors. No one is required to compete, but it’s always fun to watch a group peer pressure their buddies into it.  There is no competition fee, all registered rigs are eligible to line up and run their rigs as long as they meet the safety requirements.  Extra helmets and fire extinguishers are on hand so everyone can feel the adrenaline rush of racing against the clock.

Each year, we try to have one event on Friday evening “Under the lights”.  For 2019, it was a “Pit Crew Challenge” teams raced against the clock to be the fastest team to swap a tire on their rig and walk away with the trophy, the cash and the bragging rights.  To our surprise, we even had an all-girls team, it’s not unusual to have kids sign up and test their skills against the adults.

Saturday was packed full of exciting competitions throughout the day wrapping up around 5 p.m.  Once everyone has had a chance to strut their stuff in front of their local fans and family, there is a free kids raffle so the little ones can win free stuff too.  Just after the kids raffle, we held our awards ceremony, where we recognize our podium finishers with awesome trophies, prizes and appreciation for putting on an exciting show for the entire family to enjoy.   Following the awards ceremony, bands rock the park until midnight.  Lots of people stick around and enjoy the band while others jump in the river to cool off and there is always a group of night riders who enjoy the parks trail system until all hours of the night.

We shake off the dust and start our Sunday Funday Poker Run around 9 and it runs until 2pm.  Everyone that participates gets a chance to win prizes.  We have one Poker Run winner and 4 random winners.  Anyone can win, it just takes luck!  We give the Poker Run prizes away and wrap up a great weekend with all our great customers new and old and begin our journeys back to reality.

Watch event schedule for upcoming events.

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