From Fair Demos To Monster Jam Pits

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Montgomery County native Rebecca (Becca) Marsch’s life-long love for motorsports has taken her from demolition derbies at the Montgomery County Fair to coordinating pit parties for Monster Jam through her current position with Feld Entertainment.

Marsch was raised by her father, Greg Marsch of  Raymond, a Montgomery County Fair board member from 1990 to 2016, and spent much of her childhood at the Butler fairgrounds. The single father often occupied his young daughter by doling out maintenance and landscaping tasks, always finding a chore for her to take on.

“I was pretty much raised on the fairgrounds,” Marsch said with a laugh. “My dad is a very business minded, work-oriented person and there are always plenty of jobs to be done at the fairgrounds. He also has a very learn-on-the-job mentality and had no qualms about sending me out to clear brush or throwing me into a backhoe. I learned to weed-eat and mow at the fairgrounds, to operate heavy machinery and to race four-wheelers.”

As a teenager, Marsch’s countless hours of work were recognized by the fair board, who presented her with an award naming her a junior fair board member. She was eventually voted onto the Montgomery County Fair Board when she turned 18, though is no longer a board member. Even after she graduated from Morrisonville High School and left to study architecture and interior design at the Art Institute in Tampa, FL, Marsch continued to volunteer her time at the county fair grounds, returning to help with the Montgomery County Fair yearly.

“I have always loved volunteering at the county fair, it makes me feel so humble and happy to be a part of something that was such a large part of my own upbringing,” Marsch explained. “I haven’t missed a single fair with the exception of the summer I completed basic training.”

Marsch joined the military in 2017, enlisting in the Army Reserves where she serves as a 88H Cargo Specialist. After basic training, Marsch took a corporate position with Ashley Furniture, hoping to fill both her love of design and marketing. She ended up in a promotional marketing position but still found herself searching professionally when a friend invited her to attend a Monster Jam show. 

“A friend had gotten tickets to attend Monster Jam and invited me to tag along. I couldn’t pay attention to the  show itself because I was so mesmerized by the hosts and the heavy machinery operators rebuilding the track in the background,” said Marsch, when asked how she ended up working on the Monster Jam tour. “My friend noticed how enlivened I was by the experience and pointed out that I was already doing a lot of what those positions entail for my dad, for free, and that maybe I should try to get paid for it.”

Marsch took the go-get-em attitude she inherited from her father, and the knowledge she had acquired from years of working alongside him (and others) to organize and host demolition derbies as part of the Montgomery County Fair and Kickabuda Promotions, and applied for a position with Feld Entertainment, which produces live entertainment including Monster Jam, among many other popular tours. 

As there were no heavy machinery positions open, Marsch ended up taking a position in the pit party field in November 2019.

Jumping into a position organizing pit parties was not a big leap for Marsch, who spent her teenage years taking on both organizational jobs behind-the-scenes and in-front-of-the-crowd roles, such as interviewing for WSMI and other media outlets, for Kickabuda Promotions, a motorsports productions company owned by her father and former Montgomery County Fair Board member, Kathy Painter. In addition to organizing derbies and races throughout the United States, Kickabuda Promotions held a popular demolition derby at the Butler fairgrounds each fall, Pumpkin Smash.

“Growing up on the fairgrounds I never really  paid attention to how much I loved the day to day operational aspects and working behind the scenes,” Marsch explained.

As a pit party coordinator Marsch is tasked with setting up large scale meet-and-greets on the pit at each of her tour’s stops. The special pre-show parties are set up on the arena floor and offer guests a chance to interact with the drivers of all 14 of the tour’s Monster Trucks and to view the trucks up-close. Monster Truck pit parties generally host between five and eight thousand attendees, with time lengths varying between tickets. Early access parties last approximately 30 minutes while regular admission parties are around three-and-a-half hours.  

Marsch’s job entails overseeing all details of the pit parties, from making sure the trucks are shiny and ensuring each of the driver’s has an adequate space to greet fans to contacting local activations like radio stations for on-site coverage. 

She also oversees additional entertainments such as setting up sandboxes with miniature Monster Trucks for the pit-parties primarily young demographic and working with large corporations to offer fun features like Great Clips’ crazy hair activation station.

Like the demolition derbies Marsch grew up around, Monster Jam is a competitive race. Monster Jam consists of multiple tours occurring simultaneously, with each of the racers competing for a chance to face-off in the  World Finals Challenge. As a pit party coordinator, Marsch gets to travel all around the US with her contracted tour. 

Prior to the postponement of this season’s tour (the result of COVID-19 precautions) Marsch’s tour had traveled to  Tampa, FL, St, Louis, MO, Anaheim, CA, Glendale, AZ, back to Anaheim, CA, San Diego, CA, Miami, FL, and Jacksonville, FL. During a usual season, tours generally begin in January with the drivers and crew traveling for the first four months of the year. At the completion of the year’s tour, Marsch is then available to sign on for international shows. 

“Traveling was an appeal when taking on the position,” said Marsch, who traveled with her father throughout her youth. Greg Marsch purchased and operated a carnival in Marsch’s teenage years and the two spent countless hours on the road, making regular pilgrimages to Gibsonton, FL, an area with a long history tied to the carnival scene.

Marsch attributes the skills she acquired volunteering at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, learning the ins-and-outs of derbies, to enabling her to obtain her current position with Feld Entertainment’s Monster Jam.

“I think that I graduated from high school and then metaphorically ran away from home. I wanted to be my own person, not following my dad's footsteps. I ran away to Tampa and found out that being away from motorsports and the fairground made me sad. I didn’t know how much I would miss them,” said a reminiscent Marsch. “Being from a small town, I also missed the close-knit feeling of our community. In many ways Monster Jam has returned that connection for me. It feels like being on the fair board all over again.” 

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