Offbeat

Dune Festival Attracts 170,000 Thrill-Seekers for Sun, Sand and Speed

Mad Max-style adventure weekend gathers thousands of adrenaline-junkies to the Californian desert.

From dirt and quad bikes to sand rails and dune buggies, a whole host of vehicles descended on California's Imperial Sand Dunes over the weekend to enjoy a couple of thrilling days in the desert. Close to 170,000 people visited the dunes in Imperial County over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, purely for the sake of tearing up the sand and basking in the hot sun. Unfortunately the annual event was marred by the death of a 32-year-old man as a result of his all-terrain vehicle rolling on top of him.

Mercifully, his 10-year old son that was with him during the incident was uninjured. There was no sponsorship or championship of any kind at the dunes that stretch for over 65km until the Mexican border, which over the years have been used in films such as Stargate, Resident Evil: Extinction and exterior shots for the legendary Tatooine scenes in Return of the Jedi. NASCAR driver Robby Gordon was at the event racing down the sand drags in his orange off-roader, as was Monster pro racer BJ Baldwin, while Evile Knievel-style motorcyclists also got in on the act.

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