Petal officials want to inspect site of mudbog events

Published 10:43 pm Saturday, October 7, 2006

Up to 1,000 people at a time have been gathering on fairgrounds here to watch mudbogging events, where competitors drive big trucks into big mud puddles.

City officials now say the shindigs could become a thing of the past.

“I doubt if we’ll ever have another mudbog,” Mayor Carl Scott said this week.

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He said he doubts Great Southern Fairgrounds owner Caroll Jackson would bring the property up to code. City Inspector Darrin Carroll said he has been unable to contact Jackson to set up an inspection.

Mudbogging is a sport where competitors drive large trucks through two large mud puddles. One is a time trial, the other is judged by how far a vehicle can make it through the bog. Stuck vehicles are hauled out by a tractor.

The events are held monthly at the Great Southern Fairgrounds during the summer and fall.

Caroll Jackson addressed Petal’s Board of Aldermen just after Sept. 9 roadblock near the fairgrounds entrance, on Mississippi 42 near U.S. 11.

Jackson said he thought his business was being unfairly targeted. He said some of the more than 1,000 people who attended were unable to clear the site until 5 a.m., more than 4 1/2 hours after the event ended.

Alderman James Moore said inspecting the site is the city’s responsibility.

“Any time you have 1,000-plus people come together for an event, we would want to make sure they had adequate restrooms, if food is being prepared on the site we would want to make sure it passed the standards of the city of Petal, and we would want to make sure adequate crowd control would be on hand,” Moore said.

City officials have said they’d like to see drinking banned at the mudbog.

Moore said he’s been urging an investigation of the events, where he says he believe underage drinking occurs, since before he became an alderman, but denied that city officials are specifically targeting the mudbog.

“We welcome any entertainment venue in Petal that is conducive to the morals and values of Petal,” he said.