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Dune Fest

Riders race through the sand during DuneFest 2018 in Winchester Bay.

WINCHESTER BAY — High octane fun in the sand is right around the corner with the approach of Dunefest 2019.

The 18th annual Dunefest kicks off Wednesday, July 24, off Salmon Harbor Drive, in the dunes near the Lower Umpqua Lighthouse. The gates open for camping on Tuesday, July 23, and the event runs until Sunday, July 28.

The activities planned will grab the interest of all ages; everything from races and classes to tests of athletic skill will be available. For those with a mind for competition, the drag strip, motocross, triple crown shootout, and ATC 70 draft will be right up their alley. There will also be exhibition performances by X Games athlete Robert Haslam as well as a show and shine of ATVs, motorcycles and dune buggies for the fans who's interest lies more in the machinery and its capabilities.

Other events will include helicopter and monster truck rides, a tire toss contest, a poker run, a treasure hunt - one for adults and one for kids, and a rock wall. During the treasure hunts, participants will ride their vehicle through the dunes and collect stamps; while on the poker run, players will collect cards at stations to create the best hand.

Cash prizes will be available for the races with a selection of other prizes for the show and shine for 'best of,' 'most outstanding,' 'most unique,' as well as other categories. In total, there is estimated to be over $500 in prizes available.

The activities don't stop after the sun goes down. There will be all ages night rides - participants must have a wrist band - and musical performances Friday and Saturday. The Departures, a band of 17 and 18 year old musicians, plays Saturday along with the Aerosmith tribute band Aerosmith Rocks. Friday will feature a performance by country star Matt Borden.

More information about the event, and early purchase of full weekend wristbands ($40 for adults, $20 for children), can be found at www.dunefest.com; information is also available by emailing dunefestevent@gmail.com. Wristbands for the weekend, or individual days, can also be purchased on the Dunefest website in person at the registration booth. An event program is also available on the Dunefest Facebook page.

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