Monster truck show brings out roughly as many children as adults, marketing director says

Sunday, February 12, 2012
Bigfoot, driven by Larry Swim, thrills the crowd at the Monster Truck Winter Nationals and Thrill Show Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Fans of monster trucks, ATV four-wheeler racing and pit bike racing came out for the Monster Truck Winter Nationals & Thrill Show on Friday and Saturday at the Show Me Center.

The pit bike races and ATV four-wheeler races opened Friday's show. The crowd watched, although many also had out cellphones logged onto Facebook. When the monster truck competition began, spectators sat up straighter and many of the phones were put away.

More than 4,200 people attended the two days of the show -- 1,833 on Friday and 2,440 on Saturday.

Jeff Hendrix of Jackson takes the checkered flag in the ATV four-wheeler race at the Monster Truck Winter Nationals and Thrill Show Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Show Me Center marketing director Josh Hanlon estimated ticket sales to have been roughly 50 percent adults and 50 percent children.

Chris Hager of Cape Girardeau brought his 4-year-old nephew, Michael Hager, to Friday's show.

"I'm not nearly as big a fan as Michael is, but I wanted to bring him," said Chris, grinning as he tousled Michael's hair.

Monkey 'N Around, driven by Steven Hill, rolls over the cars in the wheelie contest Saturday, Feb. 1, 2012 at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Michael, a fan of both four-wheelers and monster trucks, managed to get the hood of his green sweatshirt autographed by pit crew members of Clydesdale, Outtah Control and Strait Jacket, three of the monster trucks participating in the weekend show. His favorite truck, though, was Monkey N Around.

"I think he really likes the name," his uncle said.

Neighbors and close friends Brandy Ackman and Rachel Poe of Cape Girardeau brought their sons, 2-year-old Bryce Ackman and 3-year-old Weston Poe to the racing event. Bryce and Weston are buddies, and, like Michael Hager, their favorite monster truck was Monkey N Round.

Both boys were treated to new monster truck toys by their mothers and could barely contain their excitement at attending the monster truck show. They managed only brief commentary between hopping up and down and air-driving the new trucks and could only barely manage to stand still for a few seconds at a time as Ackman attempted to take a photograph of them together with their new toys.

Knowing their sons' enthusiasm for monster trucks, "we've had this planned for a few weeks," Poe said.

"This is Weston's third show but Bryce's first," Ackman said as she held up a pair of orange noise-protection earphones. "And I can't get him to wear these."

Pertinent address:

1333 N. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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