A Summer Festival of Daredeviling
We strive to be gentlemen of sophistication. Our tastes are elevated; our manners, refined.
But we must admit, there’s nothing quite like drinking a beer outside on a hot summer day while you watch cars jump over things.
So when we heard about Evel Knievel Days, we were understandably intrigued…
Of course, Mr. Knievel is long gone—but for the past 10 years, daredevils and bikers have descended on his birthplace of Butte, Montana, to test their mettle. That’s meant anything from jumping from nine-story buildings while on fire to a motorcycle-powered backflip jump over a 17-foot restaurant known as Sparky’s Garage. More recently, a stuntman named Sparky Spangler attempted a world-record-setting 200-foot car jump…and came up just a few feet short.
It gets better: the climactic moment of each festival comes on the second day, at 4:20pm (probably a coincidence), when the crowd joins together in a moment of silence for the sacrifices of the Knievel family…shortly followed by fireworks, jets of flame and no fewer than five motorcycles leaping through the air while “God Bless America” plays.
In other words, it’s a ’70s Burt Reynolds movie come gloriously to life, and a species of shameless bravura that’s in short supply these days. So mark your calendars for July 26, 2012—which should give you just enough time to pick up a chopper beforehand.
- — Russell Brandom