Smash ‘Em Up Derby

Wayne County Fair (NY) Demolition Derby, 2014

As Radicchio calls its. Or called it. Yesterday he informed me that you could “actually, call it Demolition Derby, Mama, it has two names.”

We took him last year and he’s been talking about it ever since, a full year of smash ’em up questions and comments from a nearly three-year old! He won a car from the duck pond game that is defying its cheap construction and going strong after multiple demonstrations of how cars smash into things. (This car should be used to demonstrate how translating some things to English doesn’t really work:

Champion Noble Charisma Preeminent Car

Champion Noble Charisma Preeminent Car

Those are all words for awesome and powerful but in the context of race car stickers, not quite right either. In any case, one little boy was very excited to go the Demolition Derby. When he heard there would also be carnival rides I think his little head exploded. We’ve been to several carnivals this year, and contrary to popular stereotypes, both the rides and employees have been outstanding. Sure, they’re a little beat up, but the kids rides have been attended to by some very nice people who clearly like, or at least don’t mind, children. We’ve hit up the Williamson Apple Blossom Carnival, Fairville Firemen’s Carnival, Webster Fireman’s Carnival and now, the Wayne County Fair. Each time we’ve bought the all you can ride pass ($15) and Adam has ridden the Alligator train countless times.

At 5:45 PM we bought our ticket, rode four rides and then the deluge began. We waited, at a hotdog and popcorn (this is a food and travel blog, right?), then it stopped and we rode three more rides before it started again. This time we took shelter in the beer tent where Rad discovered a spinning neon sign that left him mesmerized and filled up the 30 minutes we waited for the rain to stop. So, we got seven rides out of our $15, still better than buying tickets (21-28 tickets would have come to just a bit more than $15) and went to get a good seat in for the Derby. Also, more popcorn. And a water. And Jake had bacon-wrapped-deep-fried-meatballs. And pierogies. He said the meatballs weren’t very good. I’m not sure how that’s possible.

8PM is mighty late for our little guy, and the drawn out lining up process for the first round put the start at 8:15. Rad watched intently, got to see one car flip over and another on fire (pro tip: RX7s and similarly shaped cars are bad for this sport; their hoods are like ramps for the other cars and you will likely be driven over and possibly smooshed, the driver was so shaken up by the car that launched itself up his hood that he actually left the derby).  There were firemen flipping cars, spraying hoses and generally being everything a three-year old would hope a fireman would be. That round was over by 8:35, Raddy thought the whole thing was over, declared it both fun and too loud and asked to go home. Who am I to argue?

All the way home: Why did that car flip over? Why did that car catch on fire? Why was there steam? and smoke? Why is it night? Why is it dark? Where is the moon? Where is the sun? Why do we not have the sun? Where does the sun go? Why did that car lose its wheel? Why was it loud? and so on. Then at home he recreated the demolition derby on his road rug on his bedroom floor, complete with fire truck, John Deer Gator, ambulance and tow trucks. And finally at 9:45, he went to sleep.

It’s not a cheap night. $5 admission for each adult to the fair, $15 for the rides, another $8 for each of us to the derby–$49 just in admission plus food and drink. But the happy little boy (and the epic people watching; I need to go back just to watch the people…) was totally worth it!


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