7/15/2013 12:46:00 PM Othello Demo Derby a booming success
Two cars canít avoid a collision in the flying mud as they round the corner during the high-speed racing at the rodeo grounds July 4. Photos by Briana Alzola.
As the cars rounded the corner at top speeds, they sprayed the crowd with clumps of dirt and mud. Some gasped, some turned, some even got up and changed seats and some just cheered the cars on, urging them to go faster. The dirt-covered fun was all part of Othello's demolition derby held at the Othello Rodeo Arena July 4. The event takes place on the Fourth of July each year, offering attendees a smashing good time. At this year's derby, there was everything from cars driving backward to fires to one driver being taken away in an ambulance with a bad cut. First, all the cars who signed up to participate go through time trials, racing against each other around the track. The field is narrowed until only the fastest, most skilled drivers have made the finals. There are male drivers and a special powderpuff portion of the competition for the lady drivers. Women are also allowed to enter the heat races with the men. Anyone can enter the demolition derby portion of the evening. Even after a car and driver are declared the winner, the event is not over. The evening goes out with a bang, as anyone interested can participate in the demolition derby. The cars assemble in the arena and smash into each other, with the last one moving declared the victor. The July 4 derby is only one of the annual events put on by the rodeo association. The other takes place during the fair. So, anyone who missed the event this time around can catch it again, Wednesday, Sept. 11. Gates open at 3 p.m. and time trials begin at 6:30 p.m. that day. Entry fees are $30 a driver. If a woman enters the powderpuff competition using a car already in the races at a different time, she must pay $10. Participating in the Australian pursuit portion of the evening is an additional $10. The money raised by entries help go toward the pay-outs to the victorious drivers. In the heat races, first-place winners receive $60, second-place earns $40 and third-place takes home $20. Women take home $30, $20 and $10. Derby winners could take home up to $800, depending on how many vehicles enter.