At the end of July 2003, the members of Freaks of Nature and Bakersfield Entertainment Group hosted the first Freakfest truck run at the Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, California. The show was touted as a return to the mini-truck runs of old, and it blended everything you love about a show.
As early as Thursday, enthusiasts began rolling into Bakersfield to set up for the party that would be raging all weekend long at Famoso. There were enthusiasts driving their show-ready vehicles into the gates, while others showed up with every type of trailer imaginable with their custom achievement riding on top or inside. Vendors were invited to come in and take their spots, and they set up early to make things easier on the Freaks' staff when it came time to start rolling in show vehicles for the event on Saturday. For the most part, Friday went along pretty much the same, with enthusiasts showing up a few at a time, claiming a section of the camping area for themselves, and preparing for one hell of a good time. There were 22 bands slated to play live music all weekend long, as well as nine DJs spinning tunes - that alone was reason enough to hang out at the show all weekend long. The Freaks, however, had more in mind than just a bunch of killer music for the guests.
Saturday morning, the Freaks of Nature staff began packing as many people into the designated show area as quickly and as orderly as possible. Even when it looked as though the show area was filled to capacity, the staff did all it could to accommodate even more show rides. Soon, though, the Freaks had to turn a few rides away from the show area and begin judging the vehicles that were in line on time. What turned up at the show were more than 200 show-ready rides, fixed up to impress with all kinds of custom paint, wheels, graphics, and incredible custom interior work.
By noon on Saturday, the Freaks of Nature show judges were busy figuring out which vehicles were tops in each of the 52 some-odd classes up for grabs, as well as 20 other specialty awards for everything from Best of Show to Longest Distance; there were also some other trophies that only Freaks of Nature would have the nerve to offer a trophy for in the first place - if you want to know what those were, go to the Freaks' Web site and look around. The temperatures at Famoso Raceway soared well into the 90s on Saturday, and the temp didn't subside until the sun dropped. All the while, the Freaks kept the show's events just as heated as the Bakersfield weather. There were even sport- and dirt-bike riders doing incredible stunts for the attendees.
Saturday night, the show's festivities continued, with all of the clubs in attendance camping at Famoso and holding one huge truck-run-style party between the camps. Another stage was set up in the middle of it all, and live bands kept the momentum going well into the early hours. There was a nighttime dragging competition that pitted the seriously low against one another, a bikini contest, and more. By the time the night ended, Freakfest was ready to start its third full day with last-minute judging, the tallying of show judging sheets, and the awards presentation.
Many shows hold events that last late into Sunday afternoon, but the Freaks of Nature realized that people had come from far away to attend, and after giving the guests everything and more for three days, the staff held the trophy ceremony between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon. When it was all said and done, there were more than 600 custom cars, trucks, vans, and other vehicles, as well as upwards of 6,000 spectators who came in and witnessed the show, ready to hit the road and head back home.
Plans are in development for the next Freaks of Nature show, Freakfest 2004. For more information, contact: Chris, (661) 900-7779, firstname.lastname@example.org; Freakfest 2004, Dept. MT, Sweet Trail Ct., Bakersfield, CA 93306. www.freakfestevent.com.