By Leah Leach
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT TOWNSEND — Cars and trucks will smash into each other, filling the air with roars and the sound of smashing metal, during three demolition derbies at the 14th annual Jeffco Expo on Saturday and Sunday.
In separate events, adults and youths too young to have driver's licenses will bash and crash cars and trucks during the demolition derbies on the last day of the expo at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 4907 Landes St.
“You hit each other until you're the last car moving and you win,” said Ed Neet, the owner of Peninsula Recycling and Auto Wrecking of Port Townsend who organized the car and truck events.
“You'd be surprised how smashed up a car can get and still move,” he added.
Gates will open at the Jeffco Expo at 9 a.m. both days and close at 5 p.m.
Admission will be $5 for those 12 and older Saturday and $8 Sunday. Those 11 and younger and active military with current identification will be admitted free each day.
Advance tickets are $4 if purchased by today. Tickets are available at the fair office, which is open from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event usually draws about 2,000 people, said Sue McIntire, fair office manager and Jefferson County Fair Association board treasurer.
“We hope for more this year,” she said.
The fair and fairgrounds are maintained year-round by the fair association, she said.
“We support ourselves through campground and building rentals, RV and boat storage, and events such as this,” Mc-Intire said.
Spectators will pay nothing extra above the fair admission to watch grandstand events.
The car and driver fee is $50, Neet said. Crew pit passes are $20. Registration to participate in the grandstand events will begin at 8 a.m. each day.
Tough truck contest
Before the heats for the demolition derbies begin Sunday, a tough truck competition will rev up in the grandstand at 11 a.m.
On Saturday, also starting at 11 a.m. in the grandstand, fairgoers can watch trucks, cars and quads in dirt drags and on an obstacle course.
And both Saturday and Sunday, they can, for $5 each, get a ride in a monster car — a 1965 Thunderbird atop a 1953 military frame with huge tires — as it rolls over an obstacle course that includes a car, big tires, logs and a hole, Neet said.
He expects at least 10 cars in the kids' derby and at least a dozen in the adult derbies.
The other vehicle events have drawn about 20 vehicles in the past, he said.
The grandstand events will begin in the afternoon after the heat races, which begin at 11 a.m., are finished.
Neet said the times for the main events each day will depend on how many cars compete in the preceding heats.
Sunday's demolition derbies will begin with the Kids' Derby, in which those between 10 and 15 years old compete in small cars.
“If you have a driver's license, you can't be in the Kids' Derby,” Neet said.
The first Kids' Derby was in 2012, Neet said.
This year's adult demolition derby — with adults competing in small cars first and then in large cars and trucks — will be the third held since 1979.
Neet himself plans to compete. He will drive a 1970 Ford Ranchero.
His son, Chad, 17, also will join the demolition contest, driving a 1966 Plymouth.
“Friends from Port Angeles, Forks and Kitsap County are coming, too, and bringing their cars,” Neet said.
“I'm hoping they bring a lot.”
Many other events
Car crumplers are not all there is to the expo.
The Big Purple Slide, mechanical bull rides and 20 vendors selling handmade goods, import items, food and other goods are planned both days.
“This year, we even have an archery range for people to try their hand at archery,” McIntire said.
A vendor booth called Warriors of the Steppes will offer bows and two archery ranges — one for children and one for adults.
Also all weekend, children 13 and younger can fish in the Kids' U-Fish Pond at no charge above fair admission. Each child can keep one fish.
The Jefferson County Fair Association will sponsor a garage sale in the Cat Building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Proceeds will go to the association.
“We're looking to buy a new commercial oven for the kitchen,” McIntire said.
The fair restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Kids' bingo, free with admission, is planned in the Erickson Building dining room, also on both days. Prizes will be awarded.
Saturday only will feature a horse show with 10 events and a car and motorcycle show.
Registration for the horse show starts at 10 a.m., with events beginning at 11 a.m. in the horse arena.
Registration for the car and motorcycle show on the fairgrounds will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. People's choice voting will determine more than 15 categories. Awards will be presented at 4 p.m.
The best of show winners will be featured on next year's posters.
For more information, visit www.jeffcofairgrounds.com.
Managing Editor/News Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3531 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.