A new event is set to take Grand Forks by storm this summer. A couple of local residents are organizing a demolition derby for Saturday, June 25 out at Ace’s Pit Stop just past Kootenay Car Care east of Grand Forks on Highway 3. The main organizers, Wes Tetlock, Chris Fuhs and Jason McIver, are hoping to bring a family-friendly fun derby to town with lots of activities for people of all ages.
“We want to get a lot of people out,” said Tetlock. For safety reasons, the event will be dog and alcohol-free.
“We’re going to have food vendors, a play area for kids, and, of course, the demolition derby itself,” said Fuhs. “We’ll probably start the derby itself at around 11 a.m or noon.”
The organizers are awaiting approval from the city before moving forward. Once they get the appropriate permits, they will be registering drivers.
“We need at least 12 cars registered,” said Fuhs. “If we get more we’ll have multiple heats.”
Tetlock said they’ve already put the word out they are organizing the derby and looking for drivers. “We’ve put the rules on our website,” he said. “Safety is our number one concern. We want to make it safe for the drivers and spectators. All the windows are taken out of all cars. All the anti-freeze is drained so there are no contaminants going into the ground. “
Tetlock explained that a demolition derby is when you have 10-12 cars in a ring and they basically smash into each other until there is only one car is running.
“We’ll also have a stick in the middle of the ring and the first car to hit it will get a prize,” said Tetlock. “We’ll have a lot of stuff to give away.”
McIver said that the organizers welcome anyone who wants to join as long as they have a vehicle. He said they’ve gone to the RDKB about getting old derelict vehicles from the regional district for the derby. “As long as they run,” he said.
Fuhs said they expect that the demolition derby will attract a number of out-of-town visitors which will help bolster local businesses as well as motels and campsites. “Creston has had 3,000 people at their derby,” he said. “When we heard that we thought, why not us?”
Tetlock said that the Creston demolition derby is the closest one. He said they used to have one in Greenwood as well. “One of the challenges is making sure we get city approval,” he said. “We’ve already got the application in. We won’t put out the registrations for drivers until that is approved.”
The derby will also need a small army of volunteers to make sure everything runs smooth. “We’ve already got over a dozen volunteers,” said McIver. “The response on social media has been very promising. We’ve got 600 people on the website wanting to come.”
Among the more interesting prizes is a door prize raffle for a derby car. “The winner will get the chance to use the car in the ‘main event’,” said Fuhs. “We’re also looking at having a ladies division (powder puff) and possibly a division for trucks.”
The demolition derby is non-profit and is a fundraiser for the local food bank. The friends say they are putting on the derby for the fun of it. “It’s a great community activity,” said Tetlock. “There’s not many activities I can take my whole family too.”
The organizers are hoping that the demolition derby will become an annual event and expand to eventually include live bands, lawnmower races, and more.