Fall of Destruction: Demolition derby return to fairgrounds Saturday

Published 8:20 am Friday, September 20, 2019

PROCTORVILLE — It’s the Fall of Destruction; actually it’s the third annual autumn demolition derby.

It will be held Saturday at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds in Proctorville. The gates will open at 1 p.m. and the demolition derbies begin at 5 p.m.

There will be several classes of derbies including youth class, stock lawnmower, mini car, kicker car class, full size truck and windshield 80s and newer stock.

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Lawrence County Commissioner Freddie Hayes said the goal of the event is for people to have a good evening and to raise funds for the upkeep of the fairgrounds.

“Things like keeping it mowed, which is an expense throughout the year,” he said. “It is really to maintain the grounds.”

Delana Gates, the treasurer and secretary of the Lawrence County Agricultural Society, said that there were about 60 cars in the last Fall of Destruction and it draws a lot of people to Proctorville.

“There is a big demand for derbies,” she said. “We get people from beyond the Tri-State. We get people from Indiana, North Carolina. Our announcer is from Indiana.”

“We got people coming from everywhere,” Hayes said. “We got a guy coming out of Virginia for this. It should be a pretty decent crowd. It was last year.”

Gates said the derby participants are very much like a family. She mentioned that, during the fair in July, they surprised Levi Walters with a car to participate in the derby after he didn’t think he was going to be able to because he had undergone chemotherapy for melanoma cancer. He didn’t have the time to build a derby car, so the other drivers secretly put one together and then presented it to him before the start of the first derby.

“That was a big surprise for him,” Gates said. “It was awesome.”

She said that at one of the derbies, the drivers took off their helmets and then passed them around the gathered crowd to get donations for the family of 22-year-old Brandon Craft, who had passed away suddenly in June.

“People put money in the helmets and we raised over $2,000 and that was given to the family for funeral expenses,” Gates said. “It’s like a big family. They help one another out.”

The derbies will go on, rain or shine, on Saturday.

“We are hoping for the weather to cooperate,” Hayes said, but if it rains, that is good too. “The messier, the better.”

Admission is $10. A pit pass is $10.