LIMA — Today marks the start of 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, returning to the Allen County Fairgrounds for the 34th consecutive year.
The three-day off-roading show is one of the largest tourist attractions in Lima each year: An estimated 30,000 people attend annually, generating about $6 million in tourism revenue, according to Cara Venturella, director of tourism for the Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Why so popular?
Venturella thinks the combination of high-energy, “adrenaline pumping” action and family-friendly atmosphere has made the 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals a destination for families year after year.
“You can bring your kids out, even your teenagers or 20 or 30-somethings,” she said. “It has something for everyone.”
The Jamboree is known for its monster truck drags, freestyle competitions, UTV racing and off-roading challenges. But there will be new attractions this year too: the FMX motocross stunt team will perform freestyle tricks. And for the kids, Captain American will be meeting with fans at the fairgrounds on Saturday.
The off-roading show attracts spectators from all over Ohio and elsewhere, with a dedicated fan-base who travel to Lima and other 4-Wheel Jamboree competitions year after year.
Nicole and Rodney Heindl, for example, have attended Jamboree Nationals in Lima for 19 years.
The couple were in Lima on Thursday setting up their custom ’96 Dodge Ram and ’79 Jeep Wrangler. The Jamboree is a family affair for the Heindls: The couple’s son, Wesley, started showing his own custom vehicle several years ago, and their daughter, Kaylyn, intends to participate soon.
“(It’s) family-oriented, something fun for us all to do together,” said Nicole Heindl.
The event coincides with other outdoor events in the Lima area, like Rally in the Square in downtown Lima and the Pork Rind Heritage Festival in Harrod.
“We feel lucky that they come back every year,” Venturella said.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.