Crowd pleaser: Farmington Fair’s Demolition Derby
FARMINGTON - With the biggest draw of the 172nd Farmington Fair set for Saturday night, officials are hoping ticket sales have improved over last year after a week of near-perfect weather.
Fair official Marcus Rowe said as of Saturday morning, ticket sales were almost even with last year's total. Generally, a total of over 20,000 people is expected for fair week, but last year's wet week brought a soggy slump at the gate with a 10 percent decrease at the gate from the previous year.
Tonight, the ever crowd-pleasing, bashing and crashing of the demolition derby may help with just how well the fair will do.
Ryan Hutchinson of New Sharon, had parked his derby entry, a Buick LaSabre, at the number two spot and was busy wiring shut the doors and trunk. He'd already taken out the glass and plastic, as required, and had painted a big number 20 in orange on the door panels. A giant orange traffic cone was affixed to the car's roof.
He was driving it and "when I couldn't get it stickered anymore, " Hutchinson said, he knew it was ready for the derby. He had bought it with an eventual date with the derby in mind.
A derby driver for years, Hutchinson said he does it "for the fun of it." The key strategy is to "try to keep from hitting the front end of your car." Backing into someone else's front end and disabling the radiator, battery or other vital engine parts is the name of the game.
By mid-afternoon there was a colorful long line up of old beaters, most decorated in spray paint with the intimidating names Brat's Ride and Crazy! A few cars had power symbols like lightning bolts painted on or were dedicated to a girlfriend or mom for luck.
Two cars down from Hutchinson, a driver stood on his orange-and-black-tiger-striped-painted hood with a sledge hammer and proceeded to pound out the glass windshield. Hutchinson glanced over and smiled. His big ol' Buick would be meeting that tiger tonight.
"It's pretty sturdy; it should do alright," he said of his entry.
The derby starts at 7 p.m. at the large grandstand at the fairgrounds.