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Make way for the Mega Monster Truck Tour


It’s loud, it’s dirty and it will make every other man in the room feel somewhat insignificant in its presence. It’s monster truck time in Des Moines once again.

The Avenger is one of several tough monster trucks that will put on a big show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds this weekend.

The Avenger is one of several tough monster trucks that will put on a big show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds this weekend.

Monster truck racing typically involves men who hail from the rural pockets of the U.S. who have loads of free time and money to soup up these off-road monsters: Avenger, Wrecking Crew, Stealth Iron Man or Son of the Beast are a few such christenings. The rallies make a fun escape from the stresses of life.

“A monster truck show is all about family fun. It’s kind of like a buffet of entertainment,” said Linda Beckley, owner of Mega Promotions, which is putting on the event this weekend to the Iowa State Fair Grandstand. “Hopefully, after two-and-a-half hours, everybody will have forgotten their troubles for a little bit, and we are able bring a smile to their face. That’s our job.”

It’s a blend of participation and show. Throughout the evening “Radical” Ryan Rodriguez, the rodeo monster truck clown, will keep fans on their feet and laughing till it hurts during lag times in the show, such as if a truck breaks down. He’s out there with his two sons, 7-year-old Rad and 3-year-old Riot, keeping the crowd going.

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But for those who prefer the participation to the performance, the rally includes Tuff Truck and ATV races. With his own wheels and cash, any average Joe can race against the clock on an obstacle course (Tuff Truck) or against others (ATV).

“You may not want to bring the truck you drive to work each day, because you can get pretty torn up out there,” said Beckley.

But it’s the monster trucks that are the stars of the show.

CVA_27PAGE 10“This is (Mega Promotions) first time coming to Des Moines, Iowa, and we are bringing one of the biggest names in the monster truck industry: The Avenger truck,” said Beckley. “It’s one of the top monster trucks in the United States, and we’re excited to bring him and show him off to Des Moines.”

Along with a performance, these trucks will line up and see who is the fastest in heated races. Then the last performance at the end of the night will be Freestyle, where drivers go out for an allotted amount of time and do whatever they want to rev up the crowd — popping wheelies, spinning donuts, high-flying ramping — in hopes to become the fan favorite.

“Some might roll their truck, and though we try to avoid that, it does happen,” Beckley said. “You know, men in competition, sometimes they get carried away.” CV

David Rowley is an Iowa native with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a master’s in film journalism from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

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Summer Stir (June 2023)