Rockin’ in Sin City

corey garriott

The City of Sin is a place where anyone can win, literally. But winning comes at a price, unless you know what to do and where to do it.

I go to Las Vegas every spring break for the Monster Jam World Finals, a mecca for gearheads, wrench heads and general redneckedness. Twenty-four of the world’s best monster truck drivers converge for two days of complete carnage and amazing aerial assaults in 10-foot tall, two-ton, 2,000-horsepower machines of destruction.

I glory in monster trucking and it is among the cheapest things to see, especially for the returns you will be sure to get.

The event always begins on the last weekend of spring break, March 28-29 this year. For those who buy the Double Down Package for $125, the most expensive ticket, they get the March 28 festivities all to themselves and about 5,000 of their closest friends. Seriously, the Super Bowl of monster trucks has a top ticket price of $125 and pays for two days of monster trucks and a gift bag with a T-shirt, DVD and other cool stuff. I’d like to see anyone even get into the Super Bowl with a $125 ticket, but I digress.

If you just want to attend the main event on Saturday, the cheapest seats are $40 for adults and $20 for kids, which is amazingly affordable.

Friday’s festivities include an extra-special pit party with a free, all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet, autographs and photo ops with the drivers and trucks, a walk on the competition track, a live band and general festivities associated with the biggest event of the year in monster trucks. That night is qualifying for Saturday night’s main event racing, including an interview session between fans and the drivers.

Saturday includes a pit party in the afternoon for the other 35,000 ticket holders but without the barbecue, track-walking experience and some of the other special things done Friday. But that night is when all hell breaks loose with the main event, which includes racing and freestyle.

Racing is just like it sounds. The monster trucks race each other head-to-head, which is awesome to watch and to feel the power. Freestyle is something special. The drivers get 90 seconds to go and do whatever they want to try and impress the judges, almost always ending up in destruction.

I’ve seen a truck land in the first rows of the stadium – don’t worry, no one sits in those seats – and another one pirouette over an ice cream truck stacked on a boat in the middle of a six-foot tall concrete block pond and land on its lid in a sickeningly satisfying way. There is nothing more American than that. I’m salivating as I write this.

Granted, the cost of travel will run your bill up, but lodging can still be found at a decent price, especially if booked in advance.

And of course, there are many fruitful opportunities and things to do in Las Vegas in addition to the monster trucks. But the monster trucks are definitely worth a gander if you’re looking for something different to do this spring break.

Who knows, you might get into it enough to grow a righteous mullet.