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Posted at 9:33 AM ET, 08/16/2007

Smash Under the Grandstand Lights

By Julia Beizer

Demolition derby critics, we concede. Any trash you can talk about this American summer pastime is probably right. Celebrates a gross display of American wastefulness? Check. Glorifies a potentially dangerous activity? Guilty as charged. Mucks up the environment? The proof is in the thick fog of dust and mechanical fumes rising from ashes of smashed-out cars.

All that being said, a derby sure is a fun thing to watch. There's nothing quite like junky old spray-painted cars repeatedly ramming into each other. Some burst into flames, some just fizzle out, but one thing's for certain. The last car still running at the end of each "heat" -- a group of competing, similarly-sized cars -- is proclaimed the winner. This weekend, two area fairs get down and dirty with a derby.

The Prince William County Fair has already hosted two derbies this week and they've got another one tonight at 7 p.m. Want to make sure you're seeing the best drivers of them all? Head out to the fairgrounds tomorrow night. The championship derby -- featuring the top cars from this week's races -- revs up at 7 p.m. Derby tickets are included in the fair's entry fee: $7 for adults, $5 for ages 3 to 6 and free for those 2 and younger.

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair's demolition derby takes place at 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights. I've been to this particular derby in past years and think that it usually includes perhaps one too many rounds of car-smashing action. All demolition derby crowds ooh and ahh at the appropriate car-crunching sounds, but the MoCo crew definitely takes the cheering and jeering to a new level. For adults, a ticket to the derby costs an extra $10 on top of the fair's $7 admission fee. (The additional fee is $5 for kids ages 2 to 7 and $3 fee for ages 2 and younger.)

--Julia (a.k.a. The Gurus' Resident Redneck)

By Julia Beizer  | August 16, 2007; 9:33 AM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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