Tim Lepard and his team of dog-riding monkeys will perform as part of the expanded Powerade Play Zone at the Food Lion AutoFair, April 19-22.
Photo: Charlotte Motor Speedway

Dog-riding monkeys, stilt-walkers and carnival games will greet young fans at the Food Lion AutoFair April 19-22, as the Powerade Play Zone expands its offerings to bring even more fun and excitement to the world’s largest automotive extravaganza.

Tim “Wild Thang” Lepard and his must-see team of dog-riding monkeys will take center stage in the Powerade Play Zone during performances on Friday, April 20, at 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and again on Saturday, April 21, at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Lepard has been entertaining fans at rodeo-style events for nearly 25 years.

Click here to watch video of Lepard's show.

“I wanted an act that no one would forget in rodeo and felt performing with three dogs and three monkeys would accomplish my goal,” Lepard said. “Working with and training animals involves a lot of hard work. Traveling across the United States with animals requires even more dedication and responsibility.  The animals are like family and require 24/7 care to ensure their wellbeing.  When I see the crowd smiling and hear the laughter, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

Lepard’s entertaining act features a team of Capuchin monkeys riding in saddles on the backs of border collies. The dogs, passengers in tow, proceed to herd a group of sheep into a truck. A former bull rider himself, Lepard came up with the act after several rodeo injuries sidelined his career. He has been traveling with his dog-and-monkey show since 1989.

At the Powerade Play Zone, children and their families can also visit with some of the track’s furry friends at a petting zoo, see the sights from high above while riding a Ferris Wheel or enjoy face-painters, bounce houses, a photo booth and the popular Fan Van. The Powerade Play Zone will be set up outside the pavilion in the infield of the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Play Zone hours will be from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The Food Lion AutoFair annually attracts more than 100,000 visitors, features nearly 50 car club displays and offers a plethora of automotive parts and memorabilia; and a collector car auction conducted by Dealer Auctions Inc. More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The AutoFair will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.