A competitor in the 2018 Fernie Demolition Derby. All photos by Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

A competitor in the 2018 Fernie Demolition Derby. All photos by Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Smashy smashy: Demolition Derby for charity returning to Fernie

The local tradition started 48 years ago

Smash, smash, smash, Fernie.

The Lion’s Club Demolition Derby is returning to town on Sunday, Sept. 4

The local derby tradition began 48 years ago, according to Dave Bergeron, vice president of the Fernie Lion’s Club, and had a two-year pandemic hiatus.

“It’s a beautiful setting. I mean, it’s one of the most scenic derbies anywhere around,” he said.

The day’s activities will begin at noon, and likely run until 5:30 to 6 p.m at , at 1800 Railway Ave., known as Trico Homes Land.

It will see derby cars brought in from around the East Kootenays and Alberta, to be pitted against each other in a smash-n-crash elimination match. The objective is to take out the other cars, and whoever runs the longest is the winner.

“You go after the wheels and tires, you try to break the radiator of the other car so that it overheats, you try to box that car in,” Bergeron said.

The competing cars will be heavily modified, and there are all kinds of rules regulating the participating vehicles.

“I do take the safety as paramount, and that’s part of the inspection of the cars too, to make sure the car is not overbuilt.”

Three categories of cars will be participating: full size, small cars, and trucks.

Prizes will be dolled out for each category, with the top prize in the full size category being $5,000.

“Some of these guys are hardcore,” he said, adding that they’ve been doing it for 15 to 20 years and are really into it.

Bergeron said past events have drawn crowds of up to 4,000 people.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a great crowd.”

Aside from the fun, the derby is also a charity event.

“The reason why we do it is to raise funds for the local community. All the funds stay local.”

He said they support local charities, local sports teams, have been a big contributor to Angel Flight East Kootenay, and mentioned Cycling Without Age as an organization they’d like to support.

Money is brought in via food concession, beer garden, $20 entry fee at the gate, and $100 registration fee for drivers. It will be a cash only event.

Bergeron expressed gratitude for their sponsors, and pointed especially to their title sponsor, Welco Expediting, who recently helped fund the Fernie Lion’s Club with the largest single donation they’ve ever received.

“This is a family fun, friendly event,” Bergeron said.

“It supports a great local cause, it’s exciting.”

Dogs will not be allowed at the derby.

READ MORE: Demolition derby makes impact for charity

READ MORE: GALLERY: 2018 Fernie Demolition Derby a smashing success


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