By Lauren Tjaden

Swamp Buggy Races in Naples are must-see-events. Here’s why you should go.

Swamp buggy races in Naples

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

Swamp buggy races in Naples

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

Swamp buggy races in Naples

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

Swamp buggy races in Naples

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

1. It’s deliciously ironic

By all measures, Naples is an elegant, upscale town.

Nicknamed the ‘Golf Capital of America,’ it’s a place to practice your swing, toast the sunset with a martini in hand, and stroll the beach in fashionable swimwear.

But there’s nothing elegant about the Swamp Buggy Races in Naples.

They’re all down-home fun, complete with corn dogs, cheering fans, and an abundance of beer. They also involve a lot of mud and slop. The incongruity of these races happening in Naples will please all folks who love a little contrariness.

2. The mud is mind-boggling

You’ve never seen mud until you’ve seen the famous Mile O' Mud track and the swamp buggies splashing around it. This figure-eight track is flooded with water, around 18 inches deep in most areas, but much deeper in the dreaded sippi holes.

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

3. It’s historic

The races are a celebration of the Sunshine State’s past. The Mile O' Mud mimics the terrain that Swamp Buggies were originally invented for: Florida's Everglades, the River of Grass. Before airboats, swamp buggies were the solution to getting across the thousands of square miles of Florida swampland.

4. The Buggies are beauteous

The buggies run the gamut from standard Jeeps with snorkels to giant monsters with NASCAR racing engines.

The jeeps get almost totally submerged in spots.

The fancy buggies with the racing engines are so powerful they literally propel themselves atop the water. It’s fun, but also a serious sport with some serious machines.

5. No one comes out clean

The Swamp Buggy Queen, a gorgeous-young-thing attired in fancy dress, gets a traditional mud-bath dunking along with her crown. It’s the perfect ending to a perfectly filthy day.

Yes, you’ve got to go. As the racers like to say -- a little dirt ain’t going to hurt!

If you go:

What: Swamp Buggy Races
Where: Florida Sports Park, 8250 Collier Boulevard, Naples, FL 34114, phone: 239- 774-2701
When: Races are held the first full weekend in November, the last full weekend in January, and the first full weekend of March.

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

 

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

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