I love demolition derby!
Actually, that last sentence may have been a bit of a misleading statement. I love the International Demolition Derby in Cleveland County, North Carolina!
The fact that there is a difference between those previous statements is why I’m writing this post. There are a lot of people who are going to read this who spent an inordinate amount of time during the mid-to-late nineties going with me to witness this annual event at the Cleveland County Fair. Some have even made the journey with me a couple of times since then and in recent years, we have been sorely disappointed with our demolition derby at the Cleveland County Fair. Last week, I learned why.
Last week, Matthew Kiggen invited me to come down to Boiling Springs and go see demolition derby at the Bar H Arena. Having been there for lots of haunted hayrides, I decided to drive down, grab him, Seaver Wait, and a hoagie from the Italian Garden and head over to the event. As we settled into our seats and checked out the program, I noticed that this was billed as The International Demolition Derby and that Shane Kirby, an old friend from Gardner-Webb, was scheduled to drive in one of the heats. As the national anthem played and the invocation prayer was said, I began to realize that this was indeed THE demolition derby.
According to Shane, who not only gave me the skinny on the situation but also won his pastor versus pastor division, the guy who used to do the demolition derby at the Cleveland County Fair is one of his church members and had lost the contract for doing the derby at the fair a few years ago. Yep, this was indeed the man who so many of us had heard utter the every familiar “Caution, Caution, Caution!”
The event was far superior to the last few years at the fair. The track wasn’t so wet that the drivers couldn’t get traction and there was some amazing destruction. One car caught on fire, one’s motor nearly blew apart, and there was enough smoke and steam for a KISS concert. At least two cars came over or through the barrier and there was barbecue, as well as other concessions. Honestly, that was the best $10 I’ve spent in quite some time.
So, now we are left with a bit of a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that now we know not to waste our money on the vastly inferior demolition derby at the Cleveland County Fair and to take our business on over to the Bar H Arena for a reliable and familiar demolition derby experience. The bad news is that they are done for the season.
Nevertheless, I will be watching and staying in contact with Shane regarding next year’s festivities and I look forward to seeing some of you at the International Demolition Derby in Boiling Springs.