Monster pleaser

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LEWISTON – Friday night the Colisee transformed into a super-sized playroom fit for a boy – or a girl – of any age.

“Girls like trucks too,” said Brooke Gamashe, 8, of Lisbon Falls. “We left our Barbies at home. Boo Barbies!”

And she wasn’t taking about Tonka trucks.

The return of Bigfoot to Lewiston after 12 years was anything but little. Friday night the Monster Spectacular drove nearly 2,000 to the Colisee.

At the sold-out event, Bigfoot,, which resembled the original that began monster truck rallies a few decades ago, joined Warrior and Black Stallion to make its mark on the Colisee-skid marks from wheelies and 360s.

From behind Bigfoot’s wheel, Rick Long rounded the cement floor, which is usually covered with ice. Friday night it served street bikes, wheelie contests, ATV races and stunts, one involving flames. The show started at 8 p.m.

Long, the proud driver of the shiny, blue SIZE drove in front of a tidy line up of four junk cars and revved the engine as if to say “hear me roar.” Thousands of little hands quickly covered little ears, and onlookers gauged themselves. Seconds later a bumper and a rearview mirror had hit the cement floor with a loud rattling. The cars were flattened.

Bigfoot launched in air on its hind tires showing off the “’05 Ford” sign on its roof, and landed with a crushing sound. The crowd sprang up almost as quickly, forgetting to cover their ears, fists clenched now the air at the site of the famous truck’s wrath. The famous Big Foot, much like the one once driven by Long’s boss Bob Chandler.

“Chandler bought his first pickup truck in 1974 and just kept making it bigger,” said Long. “He began driving it and the rest is history.”

Long’s full-time profession is Bigfoot’s driver. His vision began as a child with a dirt bike, much like many of the children watching the rally Friday.

“My kids and grandson all drive 4-wheelers and dirt bikes. They love Bigfoot, so I decided to take them,” said Rene Foster of Mechanic Falls, from the bleachers. “My wife stayed home and watched a chick flick.” This is the second time his sons have seen Bigfoot; the first time Bigfoot was on display at a drag race in Florida.

The show also featured a jet motorcycle built on Discovery Channel’s popular “Monster Garage” show and the world’s only twin-engine jet car, and Jimmy Creten who drove the World Champion Bounty Hunter.

The Monster Truck Spectacular will be in town for one more show, today at 7 p.m. A few tickets for the event remained available as of late Friday.

“We hope they will come back on an annual basis,” said Kelly David, marketing director of the Colisee, who has been trying to attract more events to the venue. “In June we’ll have bull riding for the first time, too.”

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