Go ahead and play in the mud. MudWest Fun Fest is all about family-friendly muddy fun for a worthy cause.

Whether you’re 8 or 80, there will be a mud-themed event for you. A mud obstacle course, mud volleyball, a mud tug-of-war, mud yoga -- and a 30-foot tall mountain of mud for sliding down -- are all part of the fun planned at the Central States Fairgrounds polo field on Saturday.

There will be a MudZone just for kids -- that area will include face painting, mud pie making and mud sliding.

Food trucks, plus a beer garden for those over 21, will be at the fun fest throughout the day.

And of course, there will be places to hose down -- or even shower, if you want.

MudWest Fun Fest is the vision project of Leadership Rapid City Class of 2016 -- and will benefit the Cornerstone Rescue Mission. The goal is to raise $20,000 for a kitchen upgrade and additional cots.

But the inspiration behind MudWest is Josh Farley, a leadership Rapid City 2016 alum and a guy who has been turning his parents’ Spearfish acreage into a colossal mud pit since 2006.

Back then, the mud party was a way for Farley and his college buddies to get together and have some fun.

As time passed, the party crowd grew -- topping out at 300 people for the final party in 2016, complete with live music. Classmates from as far as Washington, Virginia, Minnesota and Colorado made the trek, just to play in the mud. Farley’s mom, who was less than thrilled when her son came up with this idea more than a decade ago, became one of its most enthusiastic supporters recruiting her own friends and neighbors to prepare food for the potluck, and slide down the massive mud hill into a pool of dirty water.

Farley said he just tossed his mud party idea out to Leadership Rapid City as an example of out-of-the box fundraising. But the more he reminisced, the more his fellow classmates saw genius of grime.

And MudWest Fun Fest was born.

The day’s activities begin at 10 a.m.l with the Corporate Challenge and Mudstacle Course. In addition, corporate teams will compete for bragging rights in mud volleyball and mud-tug-o-war. Cost is $150 per team of five.

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At noon, MudWest opens to the public -- allowing anyone and everyone to experience the mud-tacular fun of gooey grime. Be it mud yoga, or sliding down mud hill in giant inner tubes.

In honor of homecoming, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology students will face off in a mudstacle challenge at 1 p.m.

The muddy stuff winds down around 5 p.m., with local cover band Common Law taking the stage for three hours of entertainment.

“We’ve got an area where you can hose off or just stay muddy,” said Nick Stroot, class representative for Leadership Rapid City 2016. “We’re excited. We think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Added Farley said the hope is to make MudWest Fun Fest an annual event, highlighting a different charity each each.

“It’s a great reason for friends and family to get together,” Farley said. “You’re doing something you’ve been told you’re not supposed to do — don’t get dirty, don’t play in the mud — and it’s a lot of fun. … When everybody’s covered in mud, everybody’s equal. It makes for a very inclusive event.”

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