Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Kenton Co. Fair a smashing good time

Demolition derby a hit

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        INDEPENDENCE — Nearly four hours before the start of Monday night's demolition derby at the Kenton County Fair and Horse Show, spectators had already staked out their hillside seats.

        Virginia Deckard, 52, of Fairview, is such a diehard fan that she takes a vacation day each year from her second shift job at Levi Strauss & Co. She figures she's attended the demo derby for more than a decade.

        “We just like the banging and the crashing,” offered her husband, David, 56, as the two shared a shaded blanket Monday with grandson, Brandon Coyle, 9, of Erlanger.

        Of the more than 35,000 expected during the fair's seven-night run, many will turn out for the demo derby, billed as “the wildest show on the fairgrounds,” organizers said.

        After Monday night's screaming mini cars, the drivers of full-sized sedans compete at 8 p.m. today. The mostly local drivers vie for bragging rights, and the chance to win up to $325 and two trophies.

        “One of the more difficult parts of running a show like this is, you have to keep reminding the drivers, "Fellows, this is to have fun here at the local fair,'” said Jerry Castor, who's staged Kenton County's demo derby since 1986. “It's not the Daytona 500.”

        The 40th annual Kenton County Fair and Horse Show features Kids Day activities from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in the pageant pavilion. Ronald McDonald will perform in between the baby shows from noon to 2 p.m.

        Other attractions include a 4-H youth cat show at 1 p.m. Saturday, a horse show and a tractor pull on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and Wednesday night's sale of 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) livestock champions.

        “We have one of the best livestock sales in the state,” said Tina Snelling, fair board president.

        But it's the demo derby with its legal road rage that draws the biggest crowds, organizers say.

        Monday night, the Deckards rooted for Number 88, their son's friend, Travis Floyd.

        Others had no one to cheer for, but showed up early just to get a prime seat.


               • What: 40th annual Kenton County Fair & Horse Show

        • When: Runs through Saturday • Where: Fairgrounds at Ky. 16 and Harris Pike in Independence

        • Admission: Parking is free. Admission is $6 and includes all shows and rides. Children 3 and younger can get in the gate free, but to ride the rides need a hand stamp for $6.

        • Rides: Run nightly from 6 to 11 p.m., except for Saturday, when they run from noon to 4 and from 6 to 11. • Information: Call (859) 356-3738.


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