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Biker Halloween at Sparks America - Sparks, Oklahoma

Written by  December 1, 2012

Bikers gather every year at Sparks America Campground near the tiny town of Sparks, Oklahoma, for a huge Halloween Biker Bash. The 2012 party was the second big motorcycle rally hosted by Robert Butler who acquired the facility prior to Oklahoma Bike Week in June. Robert continues to look for ways to make sure everyone who comes to Sparks America has a great time.

Friday’s games on the Playground were mostly the kind not involving motorcycles. First on the agenda was the Butt Darts game that required contestants to place a quarter between their legs and waddle over to a bucket. Squatting over the bucket, they attempted to drop the quarter in without using their hands. Those who were successful moved on to the second round for which the bucket was significantly smaller. The eventual winner managed to bulls-eye a container not much larger than a shot glass. There were plenty of other games on tap including Pickle Licking, Titty Licking, Tampon Race, Dizzy Race, Newlywed Game (using blindfolds, toilet plungers, and toilet paper rolls), Buff the Woody (sanding the paint off the handle of a toilet plunger held between a partner’s legs), and Twinkie Eating (with the Twinkie, of course, between a partner’s legs). This was before Twinkies were threatened with extinction. Another game involved fully clothed partners on an air mattress assuming as many sex positions as possible in the allotted time. Keg toss events included men’s, women’s, and seniors’ competition. From time to time, the “people” games were interrupted to allow practice sessions for some of the bike games such as the Slow Race and Keyhole Race. At one point, everyone migrated from the Playground to the dirt drag strip that is normally used during the Mudstock weekends at Sparks America Campground. By popular demand, bikers had the opportunity to compete in side-by-side drag races over a distance of 100 feet.

During the day, there were few clouds and the temperature was pretty comfortable for late October. Once the sun went down, warm clothing was a must, and the large bonfire was a popular gathering place as people enjoyed live music provided by 10 Burn 4 and New Dynasty. Partiers who spent the night in tents may have been envious of those in RV’s, as the overnight temperature dropped nearly to the freezing point.

Saturday morning featured a bike show put on by Legs and her crew to raise money for the Motoring for Marfan’s charity. At the conclusion of the bike show, there was a special Slow Ride competition among representatives of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, Hands With Prayer, Tribe of Judah, and the Chaplains. Donations were accepted from each of those groups and from the spectators to provide items such as socks, underwear, and baby wipes to members of the military stationed abroad.

There were enough bike rodeo events to occupy the entire afternoon. The list included Slow Ride (men’s, women’s, and doubles categories), Blind Ride, Straw-in-the-Bottle, Drink and Ride, Keg Roll (men’s and women’s), Plank Ride (men’s and women’s), Quick Start (find and start your bike while blindfolded), Potato Race (using tennis balls instead of spuds), Barrel Race (men’s and women’s), and Weenie Bite. Once again, everyone migrated to the dirt drag strip where the Tire Drags were held.

At Sparks America, a tire rider runs to his tire, chugs a can of beer or a bottle of water, carries the tire back to the bike, secures the tire to a rope, and jumps on the tire which is then dragged behind the bike to the finish line. It is exciting for the participants and the spectators and, obviously, involves an element of danger. Off-duty paramedics are always on hand at Sparks America events to respond to medical needs of those in attendance, and they were at the dirt drag strip ready to treat any of the competitors who might be injured. However, a different kind of emergency required their skills. A member of the event staff, a popular biker known as Gabby, had just completed his tire ride when he suddenly collapsed. Stephanie Stultz and David Thompson were immediately on the scene. Gabby had suffered a heart attack. As the first responders treated him, shouts of encouragement rang out from the crowd. Chaplain Don and others from the motorcycle ministries led prayers. C.P.R. and three defibrillator jolts were required to restart Gabby’s heart. He was transported to a hospital, and a bit later good news came that Gabby was responding to treatment and would be o.k. As this article is being written, the latest report is that Gabby now has a pacemaker and continues to recover at home. He has a good attitude and is thankful to be alive.

Later that Saturday afternoon, chain saw art by Woody was auctioned. A hat was passed to raise money to assist a young cancer patient. Next, various items donated by the rally vendors were auctioned off to assist Woody with medical expenses he had recently incurred. The afternoon activities concluded with Robert’s announcement that three of the campground roads were being renamed in honor of individuals who were long time rally workers and supporters of Sparks America. Obviously, Gabby was not present for the unveiling of the road sign for Gabby’s Trail, but Joe and Lori were surprised and pleased to see the signs for Slow Roll Avenue and Lori’s Loop. Congrats! Other afternoon activities include a tattoo contest and presentation of awards for longest hair, longest beard, longest distance traveled to the rally, and longest distance traveled on motorcycles to the rally.

Blue Trixter and Big Blue Dump Truck provided the musical entertainment for Saturday night. Cash prizes were awarded for the best male, female, couple Halloween costumes and most original (including groups). To mention only a few of many, there was a skeleton, a flasher, a pharaoh, a firefighter, rodeo clown, and multiple knights, witches, and schoolgirls. Elvis was there. So were Captain Morgan (female), Medusa, and Scooby Doo’s very sexy pal Velma. Couples included a male convict paired with a sexy female cop, a priest and naughty schoolgirl with devil horns, and a pirate pair. The outstanding group featured many representatives of the cast of The Wizard of Oz including, in Dorothy’s basket, a live terrier bearing a strong resemblance to the original Toto. It was obvious we weren’t in Kansas anymore. What a Halloween blast it was! 

Throughout the weekend, the Magic Bus made its rounds through the campground. Many boarded the bus without a destination in mind, just to enjoy beer from the onboard bar and party with the other passengers. There were plenty of vendors purveying food or merchandise. Rick and Scrubby came all the way from South Dakota to promote theEasyriders Saloon and sell Sturgis merchandise. From experience I can verify that the saloon is a great pace to hang out when in Sturgis. At one point Saturday evening, I was attracted to the Kickstandz vendor spot by their awesome campfire. While I was there, the guys gave me some useful information on the benefits of synthetic oil for motorcycles.

Sparks America is home to a wide range of fun events every year. In addition to the 2013 events listed below, Robert is thinking of hosting an old-time, motorcycles-only rally next year. There are also plans for a free party to ring in the New Year. Check out the website for details.

St. Patty’s Day – March 15, 16 
Mudstock – April 18-22, May 16-20, September 19-23 and November 14-18
Oklahoma Bike Week – June 13-23
Halloween Bash – October 24-28
Kids ¼-mile Round Track races – Last Saturday of each months April-October

Special thanks to Robert Butler and the staff at Sparks America Campground

Stripe

Photojournalist/Account Representative - Kansas City, MO

Dave Baxter, a.k.a. Stripe joined our staff in December, 2003, as a photojournalist. If that road name sounds familiar, you may have seen his photos on the pages of such publications as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders. Stripe attends as many rallies, bike shows, and charity runs as he can and is a major contributor of photos and articles to our magazine. His first assignment was our January, 2004, cover photo, where he snapped the awesome photo of a 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. A rider since the age of 14, he loves to help and encourage new riders. Stripe enjoys meeting new people and looks forward to catching many of our readers in the viewfinder of his digital camera. Contact Stripe at stripe@cycleconnections.com