Click here to see the Sheriff JeepFest 2016 magazine, filled with tons of info about this week's event.
Like a vintage four-wheel drive approaching the top of a rocky climb, the annual Sheriff’s JeepFest will bump, bounce and rumble into Marble Hill this week with dust churned up and mud flying.
The 6th annual event will kick off Thursday with the main events on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday (see event schedule on page 4B). This marks the second year the event has been on Highway 53 in Marble Hill, after moving from Jasper.
Last year traffic on Highway 53 from Highway 515, through Tate and on to Homebase was clogged much of Saturday. Organizers suggest motorists detour by either using Cove Road and then rejoining Highway 53 at McClain Mountain or by using a combination of Reavis Mountain and Fortner roads.
Organizer Kris Stancil with the sheriff’s office said they are expecting a record crowd, which has occurred in each of the previous years, as the event has grown dramatically year after year. Stancil said they are preparing for 2,400 registered Jeeps this year. Last year they registered 1,905 Jeeps.
Making the event much larger are the spectators who come out for the music, off-road product vendors and to watch Jeeps in action on the obstacles. All events are free to watch.
As part of the weekend, there will be a Jeep show and live music on Main Street Friday night, which is also free. There is no Saturday night entertainment with organizers encouraging attendees to leave the festival grounds to visit local stores and restaurants.
For the night ride, changes have been made to release smaller groups of Jeeps rather than a mass ride which created substantial traffic problems last years.
Organizers ask for everyone to show patience with the event that donates all proceeds to groups that help youth in this community and the Ga. Sheriffs’ Youth Homes.