PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- The Redneck Mud park in Punta Gorda is stepping up their security ahead of the holiday weekend.
Mudders use the park for it's mud trails and holes. They described the atmosphere as wild, Saturday. "It's like Mardi Gras, that's what it's like, but with swamp buggies," said Tony Garcia, a park guest. "When you go in it's just like mud holes everywhere."
With Memorial day coming up, the park is expecting huge crowds, charging $70.00 upon entry. Some told Fox 4 once you get in, there aren't many rules. "They let people do reckless stuff all over, they see people drinking and driving and drinking and riding four-wheelers," said Camron Cotto, another guest.
Last Memorial day, park staff was devastated to find out one of their guests, 20-year-old Nicholas Kirk, died after driving into a tow line and getting knocked off his ATV. This year, staff has made some changes.
A representative from the park spoke with Fox 4 on Saturday, and said they have added a dedicated emergency lane inside the park so EMS can get inside in a matter of seconds if there is an accident. They also banned four-wheelers from the main road that runs inside the park.
The park has always made riders sign wavers before entering. "It's ride at your own risk," said Garcia. "That's what they tell you at the front. Ride at your own risk."
Before entering the park, security checks each car for prohibited items like weapons and glass. Additionally, they band riders with color-coded wrist bands indicating if the person is over or under 21.
Staff said they have a team of up to 50 security guards patrolling the park at a time. "Yeah, there's a lot more," said Garcia. "That's why we got kicked out, there's too many of them!"