Fernie Lions Club hosts their annual Demolition Derby.

Fernie Lions Club hosts their annual Demolition Derby.

Fernie’s 40th Demolition Derby attracts thousands

Thousands of cheering fans were in attendance at the 40th Annual Fernie Lions’ Demolition Derby on Aug. 31.

By S.L. Furedi

Thousands of cheering fans were in attendance at the 40th Annual Fernie Lions’ Demolition Derby on Aug. 31.

Lion Rick Ganter, an event chairmen, says it was the most successful derby yet.

“It was a great day to bust up some cars,” he said. “And the drivers put on a really exciting show for the crowd. They smashed and banged and even flipped a couple of trucks over. It was a lot of fun for everyone.”

It was an especially good day for the overall winner, Lyndon Franzreb, who took home the $2,000 top prize. Cody Walker was second, winning $1,000 and Jay Marshall was third, coming out with $500 in his pocket. Other winners include: Rick Mitchell, small car heat; Harley Marshall, truck heat; Hailey Bodie of the Powder Puff heat and Tara Sanders, who won best-dressed car.

“Of course, everyone comes for the action, but we couldn’t do it without all of our volunteers, before, during and after the derby,” Ganter said. “It takes hundreds of man-hours to make it work, plus donated equipment, such as loaders and backhoes and zoom booms. We can’t forget the local companies that help out, such as Cameron Enterprises, Mitchell Excavating, Shoesmith Enterprises, Newalta Corp., Fernie Brewing and of course, Trico Homes, who lets us use their land for the derby.”

There are also other organizations and businesses that Ganter says are worthy of mention, such as: the Sparwood Lions, Hosmer Volunteer Fire Department, the Fernie Figure Skating Club, Pathfinders and Girl Guides, Fernie Ready-Mix, Sparwood Towing and Flameguard Safety Services.

Ganter added, “This year, we were also loaned the use of a t-shirt cannon by Giv’er Shirtworks, so we fired out some free demo derby shirts into the crowd. That was fun for everyone.”

To thank all the volunteers, the Fernie Lions hosted two appreciation dinners; one for junior volunteers and one for adults.

“It’s a very small way for us to thank all of our supporters and helpers,” said Ganter. “It’s amazing how hard they work for a free meal,” he jokes.

He says the Lions will use the money raised to support local charities, such as youth sports, seniors and other local causes.

“We’ll be back next year to do it all over again. As long as the drivers, volunteers and the crowds keep coming, we’ll keep doing it.”