Damon Howell / Photo
Wayne Cooley moves giant rocks at the JeepFest obstacle course Tuesday afternoon. Several loads of marble were donated by Imerys and Blue Ridge Marble & Granite for Jeepers to crawl over during the three-day event.
The yearly off-road madness will roll into town next week with thousands of Jeep owners expected by the time the Sheriff’s JeepFest opens September 3 in Marble Hill.
Eight hundred and eighty Jeep owners have registered to ride the trails, try the obstacle course and visit the community for the event as this week. Organizers believe this number could rise by next weekend to 1,800 registered Jeeps and many more spectators who come to watch. The event is free for spectators.
Kris Stancil with the organizers, said it is thought that moving JeepFest to Highway 53 in Marble Hill from the field behind Ingles should relieve some of the headaches tied to the large event, such as mud in the city streets and clogging commercial areas around Highway 515 and downtown.
Among events the public may want to take note of:
• Thursday features a night ride beginning at dusk. The route will use Highway 53 in Marble Hill and back roads to Nelson and back. This could create some traffic issues with more than 400 Jeeps expected to be involved.
• Friday evening is the Show-n-Shine/concert in downtown Jasper. Streets will be closed starting at 5 p.m. Last year, this event filled the town. The concert is free and the show Jeeps will be parked throughout the downtown for viewing.
• Saturday features events at Homebase in Marble Hill. There is no bonfire concert this year on the property and Homebase will close that evening.
“We are encouraging attendees to take advantage of some of the businesses in the area that are offering special deals and entertainment that night instead of trying to keep people on the property,” Stancil said.
• Sunday will feature a church service open to the public at 8:30 a.m., see ad Page 2A, and an on-road cruise to Dalton in the afternoon.
For more information see weekend festival guide by clicking here or look at the Sheriff’s Jeepfest facebook page.