East Coast Suzuki Enthusiasts Gather at Paragon Adventure Park.
Editor: Eric Bewley Photo/Story: Jeff Johnson
HAZELTON, PA -This was the third year for the Suzuki 4×4 event called GONZOOKIN. In the winter of 2000 a group of Suzuki enthusiasts decided the North East Suzuki owners needed a large event closer to home. An event in Massachusetts. called Zookin had just taken place and although it is a fantastic event the land and campground limits the number of attendees to a maximum of 50 rigs. After some discussion on an internet forum, we decided that a growing park in Pennsylvania might be worth looking into. Paragon Adventure Park in Hazleton, PA is home of 15,000 acres with some of the best and Diverse four wheeling on the East coast. It was decided that this would be the home of the event.
This year was the third annual GONZOOKIN event and has grown in every way conceivable. An event that started in 2001 with 20 attendees grew to more than 70 rigs. With the addition a competition this year sponsored by CALMINI called the Top Zook Challenge, a ZUKIWORLD sponsored event dinner, and a large vendor supported raffle coupled with Paragons awesome terrain, it was easy to see why this event despite the weather was such a success.
The TZC was coordinated by Tim Walters, AKA Yankee Tim. Tim made arrangement with Calmini to sponsor the event, and the support from Paragon to hold the event. The TZC started around 1:00 PM on Saturday with five teams entered. The Teams consisted of a driver and a spotter. The spotter guided the driver down a course of cones, weaving the rig around them down the trail. Each team received points for stopping, reverse, missed gates, and knocking over the cones. The team with the least points won. Spectators watched as each of the contestants used their own strategy to drive their rigs Down the trail.
Saturday evening was the Event Dinner and Raffle. We used this as a fund raiser for the event. Tom Regal, AKA boyIrish, volunteered to become the official GONZOOKIN chef. Tom is in the restraint business and used his resources to put on a huge spread. We had an all you could eat buffet with chicken, sweet corn, and all kinds of assorted salads. The food was excellent.
After dinner we had our first Official TZC award ceremony along with event awards. Awards went to the top 3 finishers of the TZC. With the Champion receiving a Calmini gift certificate, and the Birfield Cup trophy. The dinner and the raffle proceeds were excellent. They are being used to fund 2004s event.
All-in-all the wheeling was great and the company was even better. The only thing more we could have asked for was clear skies.
Click here for information on next year’s event