Demolition derbies are a smashing good time

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The Demolition Derby is Walla Walla’s biggest, most attended event. This fact, given to me by a friend who invited my family to our first “demo,” surprised me. Even though I have heard people talk about the Demolition Derby and I had heard the roar and crash of the vehicles, I had never realized what fun it was.

I loved it so much I attended a combine derby the past two summers in Lind, Wash., with my cousin Drew Rogers. Not only is there a regular demolition derby with cars and trucks, but last year there was an added element of entertainment when a young man asked his girlfriend to marry him in the middle of the derby.

If you go

The Demolition Derby takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds, 363 Orchard St.

Tickets are $12 per seat. Purchase gate passes and demo derby tickets here.

For more information, click here.

Lind is a tiny town, and there isn’t a whole lot going on between here and there. But the derby there is a surprisingly lively and crowded event that takes place in the middle of the wheat fields.

The first year Drew and his friends invited me I was a little dubious about whether or not there was actually an event. We drove and drove over yellow hills and past farms, seeing almost no other vehicles. For two hours. I was open for an adventure, but I was beginning to think maybe this would be no more than a very long car trip, only to end in another very long car trip. I was surprised, however, when we came around a turn on a sharp descent into a valley. There, in the middle of all this yellow wheat and not much more, was a huge field full of cars and trucks and stands packed with people.

My cousin and his friends were so amazingly prepared. They brought juice, chips and sandwiches, which we enjoyed before heading inside the arena. We settled into the stands and watched cars kick up dust and mud and tear into each other. And when the combines came out we hollered along with the rest of the crowd. It was so much fun!

The following year I was even more prepared — I wore a big hat and hiking boots to ward off the sun and dust, plus I brought my own juice and sandwich supplies so I could contribute to the picnic. I recommend this event to anyone who enjoys demolition derbies.

I have never attended the June derby in Walla Walla, but since my friend invited me to our first demo five summers ago, I have brought my children to the event on the Thursday of fair week. The first year I went I wore a Carhartt jacket, jeans and cowboy boots — unnatural clothing choices for me, since I prefer what some might call more of a hippie style. But the kind man who invited me had given me the brown industrial-style jacket as a gift, and it seemed appropriate for the occasion. I was surprised when I arrived to see as many different styles of clothes as people. No need to wear the cowboy costume after all. However, it is possible to get pretty dusty — even extremely muddy — so be prepared.

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