I Got My Demolition Derby Back!
Today’s Demolition Derby was SO MUCH BETTER than last year’s Demolition Disaster. Most of the information I was able to dig up beforehand turned out to be true. And what wasn’t totally true ended up being better than predicted. Whoo hoo! And while today’s two derby shows weren’t exactly like they have been in the past, they were good enough and entertaining enough that I am a very happy Fair Fan once again.
I admit that I arrived for the 2:00pm show today with a “prove it to me” attitude, my arms crossed and my gaze fixed skeptically on the admittedly expanded track. I saw the same paint sponsor splashed all over the cars and the promoter’s name was prominent over the loudspeaker. “Here we go again,” I thought with some harrumphing.
But then I spotted ten independent, experience-worn derby cars on the side of the track. One was even a guy I recognized from prior years (go Y2K!). That was very encouraging.
The track was bigger than promised, probably at least half again as big as it seemed last year. And the VIP cars — the ones owned by the promoter and decorated by the paint sponsor — lined the other side of the track. Last year there were four. This year there were thirteen. Things were looking much more promising.
By the end of the afternoon show, I was jazzed. There had been two rounds of five cars each of the experienced, independent cars. Each round ended when one car broke down.
The third round for the afternoon was a “to the finish” derby of the thirteen VIP cars. They were driven by inexperienced drivers, most if not all of whom had never driven in a demolition derby before. One driver was even from the Fair Office. That was an unexpected twist. I keep wondering if he volunteered or drew a short straw.
I honestly wasn’t expecting much from this VIP round since it had been the full and complete demolition derby last year with all of four cars; it was pathetic and boring. I had a hard time believing that adding a few more small cars purchased off of Craigslist would really constitute a real demolition derby. Boy was I wrong. It was a blast!
A dozen small, modern-ish cars driven by people who didn’t really know what they were doing but knew their goal was to smash into other cars was hysterical! Cars went too fast, went the wrong direction, got hung up on the barriers, spun around, and fell apart all over the track. And since it was “to the finish,” nobody held back with the intention of coming back for the evening show.
Typically the afternoon show is fun but it is more like an exhibition since the real money is to be made in the evening show. Today, though, the VIP round was full and complete. Those cars weren’t coming back no matter how viable they were after the smoke cleared. There were shredded tires, busted radiators, smoke, and strewn car parts. In all honesty, it was the best 2:00pm Demolition Derby I have ever seen at the Clark County Fair. You can imagine how excited I suddenly was about the evening show.
We arrived in the Grandstands about 45 minutes early for the evening derby. We had plenty of company. By the time the show started, the Grandstands were pretty much at capacity.
The show lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes. There were three rounds: the eight remaining independent cars; another VIP round with 14 new cars to smash up; and a grand finale RV round consisting of four old campers. All three rounds were fun, action-packed, and very cheer worthy. They had expanded the track yet again from the afternoon show, reportedly two feet wider and twelve feet longer. It was noticeable and appreciated.
Throughout the show, my nose itched happily from the smoke and the smell of burning rubber. There were some dirt clouds. The action had to stop a couple of times due to engine fires. Bumpers and assorted other car pieces littered the track. It was a real demolition derby thanks to WGAS. Who wudda thought it was possible after last year? Not me. And I was wrong.
Although tonight’s Demolition Derby was exponentially better than last year’s, there were still a couple of things I missed.
Most importantly, I was disappointed it ended while it was still light outside. Granted, at 8:20pm the sun was setting and the Grandstand lights were on, but it was by no means dark outside. I absolutely loved having previous derbies end around 9:00pm, with the Grandstand lights being the only thing illuminating the rising smoke and plumes of dirt. It gave the derby a rock concert feeling and added to the excitement of the event. If I were Queen of the Fair, I would change the start time of the evening Demolition Derby from 7:00pm to 8:00pm purely for the lighting effects.
Another thing I missed tonight was the fun time-filler clown who used to roam the Grandstands while cars were being soldered back together between rounds. I missed the trivia games and multiple choice questions and prizes that brought the crowd together. Tonight, the three rounds were very efficiently timed and organized and independent from each. This meant there was no need for Crash the Clown to mingle with the crowd and get kids to say unintentionally hysterical stuff into the microphone. I had no idea until tonight how much a part of the derby experience that “down time with the clown time” was. Go figure.
So all in all, bravo Clark County Fair Management People for bringing our demolition derby back! And WGAS, you redeemed yourself. You really do know how to put on a good show. I sincerely hope to see you again next year.
Fair Food Feast Parade!
Today’s pedometer reading was 4.05 miles. It truly doesn’t feel like I walked that far today. Awesome!