Ontario’s annual Mud Fest gets messy

Two members of the Dutch Bros. Snake River Annihilators team compete during the annual Mud Fest event in Ontario Saturday. Thirty-one volleyball teams jumped into the mud and water to help raise funds for Project DOVE, a local non-profit. (The Enterprise/Joe Siess)

ONTARIO — The sun was fierce but the competition was more fierce on Saturday, July 27, as Mud Fest 2019 got underway. 

There were food truck vendors, a DJ booth, volleyball and, of course, mud. Lots and lots of mud. Everywhere. But people didn’t seem to mind. 

Thirty-one volleyball teams participated, and last year’s champions, a team from Caldwell called “No Mercy,” won for the second year in a row. 

Carlos Gonzales, Rolando Landeros, Gilbert Rangel and Rene Rangel, the four members of the team, sat casually in lawn chairs shaded by a tent waiting for their first match, “No Mercy” printed in white lettering across the front of their black, sleeveless shirts.The members of “No Mercy,” who went undefeated last year, were confident they would take home another win. 

Gilbert Rangel said that in addition to playing intramural volleyball in college, he and his family “just play for fun.” 

However, the team takes the competition seriously. The event was in support of Project DOVE, a nonprofit organization providing services to victims of stalking, teen dating violence, sexual assault and domestic violence. It was also in support of the Tri-County Anti-Trafficking Task Force, which is dedicated to fighting human trafficking. Amanda Barry, Mud Fest’s co-creator, has been running the event for 14 years.

“I love this event, it’s my baby,” Barry said.  

Barry said that typically Mud Fest brings in around $8,000-$10,000 for charity, and that this year, the preliminary numbers are showing that they will clear just over $10,000. 

Have a news tip? Reporter Joe Siess: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.

For the latest news, follow the Enterprise on Facebook and Twitter.

SUBSCRIBE TO HELP PRODUCE VITAL REPORTING — For $5 a month, you get breaking news alerts, emailed newsletters and around-the-clock access to our stories. We depend on subscribers to pay for in-depth, accurate news produced by a professional and highly trained staff. Help us grow and get better with your subscription. Sign up HERE.