At the end of July, the members of Freaks of Nature and Bakersfield Entertainment Group hosted the first Freakfest truck run at the Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, California. The show was touted as a return to the mini-truck runs of old, and it blended everything you love about a show - and then some - to make it one happening party.

As early as Thursday, enthusiasts began rolling into Bakersfield to enjoy the party that would rage all weekend long at Famoso. Some enthusiasts drove their show-ready vehicles into the gates, while others showed up with theirs in tow. Vendors were also invited to come in early and set up their displays to make things easier on the Freaks staff. For the most part, Friday went along pretty much the same, with enthusiasts showing up a few at a time, claiming a section of the camping area for themselves and preparing for one hell of a good time. There would be a total of 22 bands slated to play live music all weekend, as well as 9 DJs spinning tunes; that alone was reason enough to hang out for the duration of the show. No one had to wonder if it was enough, though, because the Freaks had more in mind than just a bunch of killer music for its guests.

Saturday morning, the staff began packing as many people into the designated show area as quickly and as orderly as possible. Even when it looked like the show area was filled to capacity, the Freaks staff did all it could to accommodate even more show rides. Eventually, the staff had to turn away a few and begin judging the vehicles that made it in on time. More than 200 show-ready rides turned up, fixed-up to impress with all kinds of custom paint, wheels, graphics, and incredible custom interior work.

By noon on Saturday, the Freaks of Nature show judges were busy figuring out which vehicles were tops in the 52 some-odd classes and who would take home the 20 other specialty awards, including Best of Show and Longest Distance. The temperature at Famoso Raceway soared into the 90s on Saturday and didn't subside until the sun dropped behind the horizon. All the while, the Freaks kept the show's events just as heated as the Bakersfield weather. There were even sport- and dirt-bike riders doing incredible stunts and drawing a huge crowd.

Saturday night, the show's festivities continued, with the clubs in attendance camping at Famoso and holding one huge truck-run party between the camps. Another stage was set up, and live bands fueled the momentum until the early hours. A night dragging competition pitted the seriously low against each other. By the time it was over for the night, Freakfest was ready to start its third full day with last-minute judging, tallying of the judges' sheets, and the awards presentation.

Many shows hold events that last way too late into Sunday afternoon, but the Freaks of Nature realized that people had come from far away to attend the show. After the Freaks staff gave the guests all it could offer and more for three days, the trophy ceremony was held from 10 a.m. to noon. When it was all said and done, more than 600 custom cars, trucks, vans, and other vehicles, as well as upwards of 6,000 spectators, attended the show and were ready to hit the road and head back home.

Plans are already in development for Freaks of Nature's next show, Freakfest 2004. For more information, contact: Freakfest, Dept. ST, Sweet Trail Ct., Bakersfield, CA 93306, www.freakfestevent.com; Chris (661) 900-7779, califreaksprez@aol.com