Jeeptoberfest is one of the best Florida Jeep events, and this year didn’t disappoint either. Although this is not really a “vendor-friendly” show, it is still a great time to learn a LOT about wheeling.
Jeeptoberfest actually serves as an annual fundraiser event of the Ocala Jeep Club. This year’s charities included the Food 4 Kids Program, Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection, VFW Veterans Village, Ronald McDonald House, and Bryan’s Allstars Challenge Sports.
Jeeptoberfest kicks off on Friday night for a show and shine at a local restaurant. It is a good place to meet and network with other Jeepers, and to show off your Jeep.
On Saturday, the fun begins. The vendor area and obstacles are opened. The Jeeptoberfest obstacle courses are some of the greatest of event obstacles. Situated in the Market of Marion in Belleview, FL, Jeeptoberfest obstacle courses cover stock, modified, and extreme Jeeps. The modified course is always a really fun one. There are plenty of spots where your Jeep’s flex will be taken to its limits, where you will need to use lockers, and where you will need to really think about the approach angle or line you want to take. I definitely recommend registering for Jeeptoberfest and doing this modified course next year if you’ve never done it before!
Last year, I broke an axle shaft on the extreme course. This year, I was not as brave to try it. I figured the next thing to break will probably be my (stock) gears, and I am not ready for those to go just yet! This year, I had met a few girls who don’t have much offroad experience, and took them for a ride in my Jeep on the modified course. They definitely enjoyed it since they had never really experienced anything like it before.
The spectator area for the extreme course always gets exciting, as Jeeps venture into “Carnage canyon” and many suffer losses. Carnage canyon is where Jeeps go to die. Driveshafts, tires, axle shafts, gears, you name it—something always breaks!
Saturday night, our group had dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant and then went on a little night wheeling adventure. It was a nice night out, and not miserably hot and muggy like Florida typically is. The wheeling in Florida is so different than what I got used to in Moab! It was also pretty wet, and that always makes wheeling more difficult.
Sunday morning our group headed to Hard Rock Offroad Park to take full advantage of the trip to Ocala and get some more wheeling in. Hard Rock is a great park to try your Jeep at a few good obstacles if you are in the area. The Jeeptoberfest event is still open on Sunday, so you can get an extra obstacle course run in if you wanted to as well.
This is a great event for both new and seasoned Jeepers. The obstacle courses have a great range in difficulty, and would satisfy Jeepers at any level. Plus, you are helping raise money for good causes by attending! There is no way to go wrong with Jeeptoberfest!