There will be no demolition derby at the 2017 Pratt County Fair.
A long standing tradition at the Pratt County Fair has come to an end. The demolition derby, a regular feature at the fair on Friday nights for many years, will not be held at the fair this year for a variety of reasons.
Calvin Boyd, Pratt County Fair Board president, said there were very few cars at last year's derby. Without local entry participation, there was a lack of interest and attendance was down.
It takes a lot of time and money to get a car ready for a demolition derby. In this depressed economy, grain prices, cattle prices and oil and gas prices are all in down markets and that makes it hard to come up with the funds to locate a car then spend the necessary time getting it prepared.
The car has to be stripped down, special reinforcement has to be added and the motor modified. All this takes time and money.
Besides the preparation, there is a lot of liability so the promoter has to have insurance and insurance costs are up. It's getting harder and harder to find a promoter for the event.
Prize money is an issue as well. The drivers have to have financial incentive to attend a derby. If the prize money is not there, drivers have no incentive to spend the time and money to get a car ready for a demolition derby, Boyd said.
Last year, there was complaining about the difference in the rules for the two classes for demolition derby. For one class, there's a lot more preparation. There are a lot of steps but they have to be done for safety.
So the demolition derby has run its course at the Pratt County Fair. The Board is looking for an alternative event to take the derby's place. The Board decided back in February and March not to host the derby before tickets were printed and fair memberships went out, Boyd said.
It's too late to get a different entertainment this year but the board is looking at options. They will look during December, January and February for an alternative for the 2018 Pratt County Fair.
"It's just not going to happen this year," Boyd said.
A free concert on Friday night was already planned for the show barn. State Line Drive will be the free concert that night. Also on Friday night is the Pride of Texas Carnival, exhibits available for showing and the American AgCredit supper for 4-H families.