Kilgore Chamber of Commerce is starting the 10-day countdown on its inaugural Stars & Scars Offroad challenge – the mud’ll be waiting at Rabbit Creek Offroad Park, it’s just a question of who and how many show up to try it out.

“It is a brand-new event,” says chamber president Jill McCartney, joking “I’m afraid of too many and too few.”

Taking the place of the organization’s former Stars & Scars Mud Run (which fizzled ahead of its June date), the new event Sept. 7 is aiming for bigger, better and dirtier as the planners reach out to all manner of participants: Jeep enthusiasts, ATV racers, mudders and more.

They’re all welcome to claim a spot from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. that Saturday at the outdoor venue at 1216 Post Oak Rd. Gates open at 7 a.m. and costs are $10 per ATV, $10 per jeep and $20 per person. Spectators are welcome, McCartney adds, eager for the day’s events to entertain young and old.

“We want to have a large crowd,” she said. “The more people that are there, the more fun it will be especially with the Mud Bog.

For the uninitiated, “A mud bog is a bit of a soupy, thick mud in which a vehicle tries to get all the way through the fastest.”

It will cost $100 per entry to make an attempt at the bog.

“The prize for the fastest vehicle is a minimum of $1,500.”

There will also be a poker run with another cash prize on the line. For a $5 entry fee, competitors will follow an established route to various stations to pick up additional cards for their hand.

“Whoever has the best hand in the poker run will receive half of the entry fees,” McCartney said. “If we have a whole slew of people, hopefully they’ll win quite a nice pot.”

A Jeep playground will also be waiting for participants, and there will be food and other vendors on-site during the eight-hour event, an extension of the former, shorter mud run.

“We thought once we had to cancel the mud run that we would try to find another outlet for folks to have some fun,” McCartney added. “With this being a first-year event, we wanted to try it out and see if having an event like this is even something that the area wants.

“We know that East Texans love their ATVs and their side-by-sides and four-wheeling and mudding. We know that it’s a popular thing, and we have Rabbit Creek right here.”

Registration is ongoing at KilgoreChamber.com, and details are also available via the organization’s events page at Facebook.com/KilgoreChamber.

For McCartney, “I’m excited about the opportunity to utilize a local venue like Rabbit Creek and to expose it to people who maybe haven’t been there before,” she said. Granted, “We need to make certain that folks adhere to staying off the pipeline easement. There are certain crossings where they’re allowed to cross-over.

“We’ll have caution tape and signs posted as to where it’s reasonably allowed to cross.”

All that aside, it’s going to be an exciting day for the chamber staffers, member-volunteers and others as they welcome a crowd.

“I’m excited about new people coming to our area, checking out the venue – not every community has an offroad park. It’s a nice little gem that we have here,” McCartney said. “I’m excited about bringing something different, for the chamber to host something different, outside the box of what we normally do. I’m excited for the potential for this to grow and to continue for years to come.”

For more information, log on to KilgoreChamber.com.

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