HEBRON — Not even foreclosure can stop the rednecks.  

Days after half of his land was taken in foreclosure, Harold Brooks — organizer, construction worker and a man who dreamt up the largest gathering of rednecks in Maine — said he intends to pay his property tax bill to keep the Redneck Blank alive. 

Formerly the Redneck Olympics, a name that drew the wrath of international Olympics officials, the widely popular games — thousands turn up to Brooks’ rural retreat for a three-day extravaganza of mud runs, hog roasts, wet T-shirt contests and toilet-ring tosses — are on for this year. Brooks said Thursday he is 100 percent sure of it. 

In 2011, the U.S. Olympic Committee sued him over the name “Redneck Olympics.”

He dropped the name in promotions, but he still uses it on his Facebook page. The USOC told him to stop using it this winter when they noticed, he said, but he doesn’t plan to comply. 

“I live on the edge,” he said. “I always have. I don’t want to be like everybody else, and not everyone can live like that. Nothing, materialistically, is that important to me.” 

On Jan. 15, Minot selectmen foreclosed on the property along the Hebron town line, where the raucous event has been held the past four summers. The rest of the property is at 12 Harold Lane in Hebron. 

According to Minot Town Administrator Arlan Saunders, the parcels include a field where Redneck Blank campers pitch their tents and the sand pit and amphitheater where events, such as the greased watermelon run, wife-carrying track and pickled pigs’-feet-bobbing, are held. 

To get the land back, Brooks will have to pay the $4,700 owed to the town, Saunders said. The figure represents taxes owed from years 2012 through 2014. 

Brooks said he didn’t intentionally thumb his nose at his tax bill, but working six or seven days a week, he put it off, got busy and forgot. He said he doesn’t get rich off the games, which can cost $45,000 to $50,000 to pull off. He breaks about even after ticket sales, he said. 

Brooks said his taxes are about $18,000 a year. About $16,000 goes to Hebron. A clerk at the Town Office said Thursday that Brooks recently paid his taxes there after a foreclosure notice went out, but he still owes for the past two years. 

In addition to taxes, he will have to give something else to Minot: paperwork. 

He has filed for mass-gathering and liquor permits in Hebron but never in Minot because no one knew the event took place there, Saunders said.

He said Minot doesn’t enforce a mass-gathering ordinance but going forward Brooks will have to submit plans before the Planning Board. 

Brooks balked at the notion, saying the event is already well-regulated. 

“The government is tearing us up with permits,” he said. “There’s always so many things to pay. In four years we’ve never had a problem. Part of the reason I did the Olympics was to give people a stress-free outlet.” 

Minot, Saunders said, will have to assess the game’s layout next year. 

“If the beer tent is located in Minot, he may be required to get a catering permit through the state and have it signed off on locally,” Saunders said. “That way, it keeps everybody in the loop.” 

The games will be held the first week of August at 12 Harold Lane — in Hebron and Minot, Brooks said.


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