The mud will fly in Yankee Lake this summer, but not as often as it has in the past.
Instead of holding Yankee Lake Truck Night every Friday, it will be held one weekend a month starting April 27-29.
Shawn Morgan, who oversees Yankee Lake operations, said he hopes Truck Night becomes more of an event.
“When we held it every Friday night, people would go, ‘Oh, we’ll go next week’ and they never do,” he said.
This way, fans have a chance to plan, and camping should be more attractive, Morgan said.
Truck Night has been going on for more than 15 years and the format change is an attempt to freshen things up, he said.
Comments on the Yankee Lake Truck Night Facebook page show opinions are all over the map as to whether it needs freshening up. Some people are angry with the changes, which include a higher price for truck participants, and are vowing not to come. Others are simply happy they still have the option to fling mud.
“Some people are upset, but you have to change with the times,” Morgan said. “It’s not cost-effective to do it every week.”
Other changes in store for mudhounds include a mud pit twice as long as what they are used to, and with obstacles added to it, and a longer set of trails – up to nearly six miles.
Trucks can start arriving at 5 p.m. Friday night and will have free access to the mud pit and trails.
“Friday night, it’s going to be like a free-for-all – just have fun,” Morgan said.
Gates will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, a day of more structured events. Trucks will have to power down by 11 p.m. Friday instead of midnight, and about 9 p.m. Saturday, “to give the neighbors a break,” Morgan said.
“Sunday is a day of rest,” he said, although campers have until 2 p.m. to exit. “No playing in the mud on Sunday.”
While not everyone in the village is a fan of Truck Night, Morgan said he tries to be good neighbor by installing tire cleaners and scraping the mud off Route 7.
“A lot of people understand,” Morgan said. “This generates money for the community.”
About 50 people work each Truck Night, he said.
Truck Night attracted about 300 trucks and 2,500 spectators a night last year. By holding limited events, Morgan hopes to boost both sets of numbers and challenge the day some years ago when 1,200 trucks showed up in one night.
There will be food and parts vendors, and Morgan is working to beef up children’s activities. The Monster School Bus will be back to take kids through the mud.
“That’s the only school bus kids love to get on,” he said.
Opening weekend will feature the Redneck Rumble Enduro Challenge on Saturday. Future Truck Nights are set for May 25-27 with the Mega Truck Challenge and June 22-24 with Trucks Gone Wild. The final Truck Night will be held in late July.
Information: www.trucknight.com and the Yankee Lake Truck Night Facebook page.