High profile event brings crowd of over 20K, benefits local charity

Local residents can expect to a number of 18-wheel race haulers and plenty of  colorful race jerseys around Folsom and Rancho Cordova this week.  The annual Hangtown Motocross Classic is set to roar this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


This signature event is one of the largest spectator events in the Folsom region, attracting the top motocross racers from around the world to Prairie City State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA). This event brings national and international attention to Folsom, which is consired the host city for the event, , the longest running outdoor motocross event in the United States. 

“The annual Hangtown Motocross event is a proud Folsom tradition,” said Joe Gagliardi, CEO and president of the Greater Folsom Partnership. “The competitors and fans add to our economic vitality as they eat and shop in our Folsom businesses and support our lodging partners. Hangtown’s well-known brand offers Folsom national visibility.” 


With action starting late in the week for the amateurs and practice for the pros, along with a share of media and a fan-appreciation events at area merchants in Folsom during the week, motocross mania will be abundant here in the city that has a knack for hosting high-profile events. 

In just one month, the Folsom Pro Rodeo will be the next event boosting the local economy with visitors dining, staying and shopping in the area. . Much like the rodeo. The  Hangtown Motocross event has been ranked one of Folsom’s Top 10 tourist-revenue generators for several years.


Over 20,000 spectators are expected to attend this annual event this year. Over the course of the event, ticket holders will witness more than 1,000 riders take to the dirt from the amateur level to the pros. The event will also be televised nationally. The Hangtown Motocross brings more than just big names and crowds to the Folsom area each year. 


While many will pack area hotels this week,  others will reside on site at the park located south of Highway 50. Prairie City will become a small city of tents and recreational vehicles. The Hangtown course and spectator experience  provides great vantage points to watch all of the action

The Hangtown Motocross is managed by the Dirt Diggers North Motorcycle Club and has organized the competition at Prairie City since 1979. The race was originally held near Placerville, then in the small town of Plymouth, which it outgrew very quickly. 


The club spends more than $200,000 annually to stage the competition. The club recruits sponsorships for the event each year, a necessary component to keep the affair running, considering that insurance alone is now in the neighborhood of $20,000 for the event.

One aspect that many may not be  aware of is that the Hangtown Motocross event benefits local charities each here. Throughout the years, the club has assisted various charities, including the locally known  Friends of Folsom which provides volunteer support for the event, including setting up the course in the weeks ahead of it, managing parking on race day and helping with hospitality and vendor needs throughout the course of the event.  Each year, it is the funds donated to the organization from this event that kick starts the charities annual turkey drive funds where they provide holiday meals to over 10,000 families in need.

Additional profits from each event then go back into enhancing the facility for future events in a self-sustaining business model where more people win than just the guy on the podium.

To the competitor, the Hangtown Motocross is one of the most coveted trophies on the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series. 

The motors will fire up as early as Thursday when amateur riders take to the track as well as practice sessions for the pro riders.  On Saturday, the pro riders strut their stuff with practice as early as 8 am followed by racing that starts shortly after11:30, all leading up to the grand finale. 

To purchase tickets that are now on sale starting at $40 for a single day adult tickets and $20 youth ticket. For full pricing and full race information about the Hangtown Motocross Classic, go to hangtownmx.com. 

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.