Jefferson County Fair Brings Feats of Strength and High-Octane Entertainment

By Jenkins, Wes | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), July 14, 2017 | Go to article overview

Jefferson County Fair Brings Feats of Strength and High-Octane Entertainment


Jenkins, Wes, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Doug Noelke doesn't fall for superstitions. "I don't wear any special socks or anything," he says, laughing at the implication of a prerace ritual. After 17 years behind the wheel of a monster truck, either racing them or driving them over other lesser cars, Noelke doesn't need luck to feel comfortable behind the wheel.

On July 23, Noelke will drive TailGator as part of the Jefferson County Fair's Monster Truck rally, the closing performance for the four-day event.

The 73rd annual Jefferson County Fair will offer much more than just monster trucks, though. Lawn mower racing, truck and tractor pulls, Ted Nugent, competitive eating and traditional carnival activities will also highlight the event.

The fair kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday, with the Jeffco MX Classic revving its engines at 7 p.m. The event, sponsored by Surdyke Motorsports, comprises 3 hours of constant racing, "action-packed from start to finish" in the words of Surdyke marketing director Adam Riley.

It's the fourth year that Surdyke has put on the motocross classic, and Riley says it's an opportunity for anyone into the sport to get out and race. The track is a bit smaller but still consists of standard motocross track features, including tabletops, 180-degree banks and more.

"It's everything you would expect from a full-size motocross track, just on a smaller scale," Riley says. Surdyke partners with Archview MX Park to put together the track and stage dozens of races.

This year, 18 classes of racing are offered. Riley expects the 250cc open class to be the most competitive, but fairgoers shouldn't ignore the lower cc's. He says the 50cc races with kids as young as 4 years old are some of the most entertaining.

July 21 boasts the fair's centerpiece, with Nugent taking the main stage at 9 p.m. Nugent, known as much for his political stances as for his rock hits such as "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Stranglehold," has garnered a fair amount of blowback and support on the fair's Facebook page. …

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