I feel compelled to write this letter to the editor to make the community aware of a particular change that the Board of Walworth County Fair seemed to think was necessary. The change is to the observation of the Demolition Derby.

      The Board has decided to charge $3 a piece to watch the derby. There are three shows for those of you that don’t know and the Board has found it necessary to take the grandstand entertainment of the local Demolition Derby and charge the local community to watch it.

      I find it quite curious that the Board does not think it is necessary to charge to watch paid, famous entertainment from the grandstand. (You are charged if you want reserved track seating) but when it comes to an event where the local community is the entertainment and families come to watch families in this local event everyone is charged to watch.

      Now you might say that things change and the fair needs to make money and we must accept the changing times. The fair has made changes that the community has stood being, for example charging for parking is a relatively new thing. I would even venture to say that families would be willing to pay for watching this event if all things were created equal. Why not charge for people to watch the “famous” paid entertainment?

      There is also a little known fact that the security has been instructed to empty the grandstand at the end of each of the heats of the derby. Now that is another thing the Board has not really thought through. There are three heats, neither you nor your family know which heat you are in until they assigned that day. If you want to see all the shows and buy all three tickets you must still clear the grandstand, go to the end of the line forming outside and jeopardize you ability to see the heat your loved one might be in. If you have to buy a bracelet for each heat then there should be a fourth bracelet for the people that don’t want to leave the grandstand and are there to watch all three shows.

      Putting portable grandstands in the infield would solve the problem of many people wanting to watch the events. They say they won’t be covered by insurance but they allow people to in the infield and sitting on bleachers would seem to be safer than walking around. What will happen when security asks people to leave and they say no I have three bracelets so I’m staying? I can anticipate not a very happy crowd and most assuredly trouble with all the adrenaline the event creates. The other thing that very well may happen is people will stay home. How much money do you think the fair will make on the last day if you take away the demolition derby drivers and their families and friends?

      Has the Board researched other county fairs and what they do to alleviate issues?

      I have participated in every demolition derby that Walworth County Fair has had since the beginning with the exception of the year I had open heart surgery. As a participant I must perchase a car, (which isn’t as cheap as it once was) spend money and time to modify it to follow the rules, pay the promoters of the event $25 to bin it and $10 for anyone I need as a pit crew. I don’t mind all that because I love to do it. It is something that my whole family looks forward to all year. This year my grandson will be driving in it for the first time. If his mother, father and grandmother miss it because they are standing in line for the third time trying to get in it may be the last time the fair benefits from any entertainment I or my family will provide to the derby in the future. The community gets together at the fair to support each other in this event and it is being taken away because of a lack of creativity on the part of the Board to take the time to come up with an idea that may benefit the community and bring them closer together rather than farther apart.

      I think we are in jeopardy of losing a community event that makes us different than the “big city” life what a shame; soon there will be no reason to know or support your neighbors. We will be just another community with a bunch of strangers.

Ira L. Cheney, Elkhorn

 
 

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