Get muddy at Plamondon Mud Bogs for a primal rush
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On arriving in Plamondon, a rural lakeside prairie town in Lac La Biche County, you can almost hear the fluted pastoral music of Peer Gynt and see the Bugs Bunny cartoon bluebirds fly… until, with a screech of heavy metal thunder, the Plamondon Mud Bogs turn those peaceful meadows into a muddy maelstrom.
There’s something primal and seriously fun about the mud bogging scene. From July 7 - 9, 2023, the hounds of the Metal Mulisha let loose in Plamondon in some of the wildest feats of machine-driven fun you’ll find, with monster trucks, Frankenstein-modified pickups and Rat Fink bravado.
Beyond mud bogging alone, there’s a demolition derby, truck tug-o-war, food trucks, kids activities, a slo-pitch tournament, a Redneck Rust and Shine, and a Friday Open Air Dance, which is apparently quite the popular event.
"The open air dance is in the beer garden, with a DJ and a tent," says Jessica Routhier, event and rental coordinator at the Plamondon District Community Development Services, "The Friday night tends to be a little bit more of a party. It's just a big kickoff to the weekend, everybody gets a little rowdy."
And of course, there’s live music through the weekend. Amateur registration is still open for racers as well, if you want to try your hand at it, alongside the Canadian Mud Racing Organization sanctioned races.
Among the tools, machine parts and RVs surrounding the pit, FestivalSeekers correspondent Paula Worthington met up with several mud bog competitors a few years back to help shed a light on the feel of the event (full story here).
Like Greg Wickenheiser, a regular for many years on the circuit. As he described it, “It’s such a great adrenaline rush, where you get to put three to four thousand horsepower to work!”
Both he and Robert Van Kesteren, a racer for over 20 years, emphasized the friendly and accessible nature of the mud bogging scene.
“I encourage anyone who is going to one of these festivals for the first time to meet some of the drivers and the community we have created,” Van Kesteren said. “Some might even let you ride in the passenger seat on their run!”
He’s not fooling. In the small hamlet just 20 minutes from Lac La Biche, rural hospitality is a staple. The trucks may be monsters but the people are welcoming and they love to share their local culture.
The town has long roots as a Francophone enclave. Agriculture was the primary industry for many years and continues to be important. But just as relevant today is the lakelife.
In summer you’ll find fun and relaxation down at the docks at Plamondon Whitesands Resort (where you can book a campsite or a cabin during the mud bog weekend), as well as tasty ice cream.
You can explore town history as well, with a tour of the town’s mini parc, where miniature replicas of the town’s original buildings stand. Walking through gives you a real Gulliverian feel, which is a trip.
For more of a taste of the town’s history, pop in to the local museum, where the story of early life in the community is told, with its heritage of music, art, trapping and living off the land.
“When Joseph Plamondon came to this area, they couldn’t bring big musical instruments, but they would bring ukuleles or guitars or spoons, and play music to entertain themselves,” says Angelina Giammarioli, a curator at the Plamondon Museum.
“Even today, so many people gather and play music here.”
Top off the weekend with live shows headlined by local artists and you’ll feel right at home in Plamondon in no time.
WHEN YOU GO
Where to stay, eat and play in Lac La Biche County
Check out the Lac La Biche Region website for tips on local accommodations, restaurants and things to do.
Plamondon itself has as lively local scene, supported by the Plamondon District Community Development Society (PDCDS).
The PDCDS Facebook page often shares updates on upcoming Plamondon events.
More #NEAB adventures
Get a real feel for Plamondon and area in this ZenSeekers.com feature. And that's just the tip of the shoreline!
Read up on all the ways you can #TakeItToTheLake in Lac La Biche Region, from backcountry camping to golfing, to paddling and more, and start planning your extended stay. This is a place where you can truly find some fun and relaxation, with a little time to take it easy and stay awhile.
Check out these and many other stories in our #TakeItToTheLake #NEAB expedition on ZenSeekers.com for all the travel inspiration you'll need.