Photos by Laura Hill - Piccaboo's Photography
WABASSO — A lot of work goes into just one night of freestyle ATV, motorcycle and BMX bike jumps and flips. But Derek Guetter said it was all worth it to see the faces at the front of the crowd.
“You could see the kids were so fired up,” Guetter said. “It’s so much fun doing this.”
Guetter, a Wabasso native, pro ATV rider and a founder of the ATV Big Air Tour, brought the tour to his hometown for a special free show Thursday night.
“It’s been a long two days, but it’s been awesome,” he said of putting on the show.
There was “beautiful” weather for an outdoor event, and a high-energy local audience, he said. Guetter estimated 1,500 to 2,000 people gathered outside the Wabasso Community Center to watch the show.
“It was packed,” he said.
The Guetter family have made a career out of riding four-wheelers. In 2004, Derek’s brother Jon Guetter was the first person to successfully do a backflip with an ATV. Since then, the Guetters have toured around the world, appeared in movies, and more.
“I had no idea it would last this long,” Guetter said.
Derek, and his wife Larissa, co-founded the ATV Big Air Tour, which does shows around the country.
“It’s a good group of guys, and we’re the only ones who do this on ATVs,” Guetter said.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought some changes for the Big Air Tour, however.
In 2020, “COVID canceled our entire schedule,” Guetter said. Without tour performances, the Big Air Tour turned to other projects like making a movie. That year was also when Guetter did his first free show in Wabasso, the Big Air Fest.
The Big Air Fest was back on Thursday night, bringing together motorsports riders from across the country, plus some special touches like food vendors, a sandbox for kids, and customized recordings introducing the show.
Guetter said the event also held fundraisers for the Wabasso Ambulance and the local backpack program fighting hunger for area children.
Guetter doesn’t ride in shows as much these days, but he did ride in his hometown show. It was special to see people he knew at the event, he said.
“This is so much fun. This is why I do it,” he said.
Guetter said he was thankful for his wife and team, as well as the sponsors and community supporters who made Thursday’s show possible.
“I want to thank everyone in the community,” he said. “It’s good to be appreciated.”
Original article published by the Marshall Inndependant https://www.marshallindependent.com/news/local-news/2022/07/catching-big-air/