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Selfie time: Free monster truck displays around the Tampa Bay area Thursday

By Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times Staff Writer
Published: January 11, 2017
At the 2009 Monster Jam in Tampa, driver Dennis Anderson leaps over a junk car in the fan-favorite Grave Digger monster truck .(Times photo by Lyra Solochek)

Before Monster Jam invades Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, you can see and take pictures with the 10,000-pound beasts at a variety of locations around Tampa Bay on Thursday, and it's free.

Like the professional wrestlers of the racing world, the custom-designed monster trucks are flashy with a fan following, from Grave Digger, appearing at Elder Ford in Tampa, to the big-horned El Toro Loco, rolling into Stepp's Towing in Tampa, and the new Jester, a tricked-out Escalade that will be at America's Best in Largo.

Monster Jam on Saturday will begin with a tailgate and meet and greet with the trucks and drivers in the Party in the Pits from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. ($10 for pit passes on Ticketmaster. Free pit passes are available at local Southern Ford dealers). The show begins at 7 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $15-$185. Toll-free 1-800-745-3000.

Here are the free monster truck appearances coming Thursday:

Monster Energy, noon-4 p.m., Walmart Supercenter, 1505 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa.

Son-Uva Digger, 2-6 p.m., Metro PCS, 21635 Village Lakes Shopping Center Drive, Land O'Lakes

Jester, 3-6 p.m., America's Best, 10500 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Jester: 3-6 p.m.

El Toro Loco, 3-7 p.m., Stepp's Towing, 9602 U.S. 92 E, Tampa.

Rage, 3-7 p.m., Circle K, 4804 Gunn Highway, Tampa.

Grave Digger, 3-7 p.m., Elder Ford of Tampa, 9560 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Grave Digger: 3-7 p.m.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.