Fun at the County Fair: The Combine Demolition Derby

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As summer comes to an end, county fairs across the country are happening. Most people know the county fair has cows, pigs, horses, chickens and turkeys. But how many people know the county fair offer sporting events that may be a little… well, unusual, but a lot of fun?

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One of my favorites this year was the Combine Demolition Derby. Perhaps you’ve heard of demolition derbies, where drivers get in old, beaten up cars and smash each other’s cars to try to stop your opponents car from running (Warning: Don’t try this at home!). But combine demo derbies? What the heck is that?

Following the same rules as a normal demo derby, drivers get into old combines (the use of new ones would be really expensive, much more than cars) start their engines, and smash away. In case you’re wondering, a combine is a farm tool used to harvest corn, wheat and other crops.

Now, some of you may ask, do you really think this is a sport? I think it definitely is. Imagine maneuvering an almost eight-ton vehicle, and trying to smash other people without being smashed yourself? How about being hit by an eight-ton vehicle? Think about the strength it must take to keep you from flying all over the place.

A combine demo derby can last anywhere from three minutes to three hours. Competitors are eliminated when the engine of the combine is destroyed, or the combine is immobilized. The winner is declared when only one combine is left running. Most, but not all of the competitors are farmers. It’s a hilarious sight to see combines with popped tires, missing pieces and smashed-in sides chasing their opponents around the grandstand. Many combines are colorfully decorated, and sometimes there are awards for “prettiest” combine. Although the making of new rules makes a combine demo fairly safe, accidents do happen. In 1999 a driver broke his leg after falling from his combine.

So now you now that county fairs are more than just livestock, corndogs and a ferris wheel. They are also a great place to witness sporting events that are fun for all ages.