GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

July 19, 2013

Monster trucks to rumble during Topsfield Fair

By Ethan Forman
Staff Writer

---- — TOPSFIELD — It’s been awhile since monster trucks have roared around the Topsfield Fair arena, but tickets to the car-crushing event went on sale last week, as planning for the 195th annual Topsfield Fair shifts into high gear.

Two monster truck shows are scheduled during the fair on Saturday, Oct. 5., followed by “pit parties” for those who want to get close to the mammoth pickups.

“I think the fair is always trying to do something new and different,” said fair spokesman David Thomson. “There are always traditional things when people think about the Topsfield Fair, but there are new things, too.”

Four monster trucks — Krazy Train, Hot Tamale, AfterShock and Equalizer — will each “freestyle” at the shows, running over obstacles such as dirt piles, cars and minivans.

“These trucks will come out and crash and jump and do these kind of freestyle tricks over these obstacles,” Thomson said.

The monster truck show is being produced by JM Productions of Hamburg, N.Y.

“Anytime you are dealing with monster trucks and destruction of vehicles, it’s going to draw a lot of attention; that is the bottom line,” said Jay Milligan, president of JM Productions.

The owner of AfterShock and Krazy Train is Lawtons, N.Y., resident Bob Robbins, who said it should be noisy in the “little arena” in Topsfield.

Robbins is a married father of two boys who works as a railroad engineer handling train derailments, he said. He races 35 weekends a year. At times, it can be rough trying to balance work, working on his monster trucks, and family life, he said. He built his first truck, AfterShock, 12 years ago.

“The next thing you know, I have two trucks,” Robbins said.

It can be an expensive sport to break into. A monster truck can cost upward of $150,000, and there are other expenses, such as parts and the hauler needed to take a monster truck around to different shows.

But the shows are crowd-pleasers. JM Productions also runs the demolition derby at the fair, and it sells out every year.

The 195th annual Topsfield Fair takes place from Oct. 4 to 14. Discount admission tickets cost $9 and can be purchased now online or by phone at 978-887-5000.

Tickets for the monster truck show are $15, and pit parties cost $10.

Tickets are available online at www.topsfieldfair.org.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, or eforman@gloucestertimes.com.