By Frank Lewis
August 11, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Yvona Stahl runs a tight ship at Cavalcade of Thrills Demolition Derby and while rules don’t change very much from year to year, there is always a little tweaking going on.
“There are minor rule changes. We don’t change them drastically,” Stahl said just before the start of the Demolition Derby at the Scioto County Fair. “We are running a stock heat here tonight. That has to be stock. So we’ve got a lot to inspect here.”
Stahl said if anyone wants to participate in the stock heat they can’t do anything to the frame of the car.
“They can only do safety stuff,” Stahl said. “They can weld the driver’s door and the passenger’s door, and they can spot weld the trunk, but that’s all. They can’t touch the frame.”
By 4 p.m. Saturday parking places in either the south end or the north end of the fairgrounds were at a premium. After a week of somewhat diminished attendance, there was no doubt the Demolition Derby was going to bring them out into the humidity if nothing else would.
“It’s local participation,” Stahl said. “And people like to see wrecks, although they won’t admit it, but they do. So this is a staged wreck.”
As the cars were being inspected and drivers were registering, the early arrivals were treated to the firefighters water ball competition, which resulted in the grandstand area being turned into a mud pit, and the crowd responding with a loud cheer to show how much they were enjoying the action.
A ball is placed high in the air on a track and firefighters get on both ends of that track, and using their firehoses, attempt to push the ball to the other team’s side. Morgan Township, Valley Township, Union Township, Minford, Morgan Township and Rush Township all competed.
“We used to do it years ago and all these different departments would come in,” Phil Duncan of the Valley Township Fire Department, said. “And basically it’s just to help build camraderie. The guys get out here and play around in the mud and get sunburned. It’s all about fun, whereas they have the Firefighter Combat Challenge, which is more testing your physical ability, whereas this is about coming out, spraying each other, and having a good time.”
There may be nothing more competitive in the world than a firefighter representing his department and his community, so the winner gets a trophy which they can proudly display for the next year until the competition begins anew.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.