Demolition Derby - Baltimore County, Maryland
If you drive about 30 miles north out of Baltimore City, you find yourself in an entirely different environment. Less “The Wire" and much more “The Andy Griffith Show". It is for this reason that I often take my city dwelling family on drives out in the bucolic Baltimore County countryside. On one such trip I spied a banner touting regular demolition derby extravaganzas. Being thoroughly convinced that demolition derbies had gone the way of traditional lawn darts, I was shocked and thrilled to discover that such events could still be witnessed. About a month later, after paying a modest entry fee (a portion of which goes to the local volunteer fire fighters), I was excited to be making my way down to the fairgrounds to behold the vehicular contact sport in person.
Contemporary country blared out over the loudspeaker system as I helped myself to a delicious pit beef sandwich and took in the scene. This was clearly a community social event, packed with families and young adults scattered about tail gating and having picnics on blankets around the grounds. The folks at the concession stand were chatty and welcoming, even helping me gain entry to the restricted access pits where the drivers and cars waited to be called up to battle.
The nostalgia was strong as I drifted around the grounds and pits taking photos and talking with a number of friendly people. It was effortless and authentic Americana. As for the derby itself, it did not disappoint either. The flags dropped for the main event just after dusk and it was as noisy, smoky and violent as you might imagine. Fortunately no one was hurt, and after crowning a winner there was a fireworks display for all to enjoy.