Fans cheer for heavy metal thunder from ‘The Demo’ | Greene County

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CHATHAM – The sound of crackling metal and the aroma of scorching gasoline filled the air Thursday as the annual demolition derby drew hundreds of fans to the Columbia County Fair.

The second day of the Columbia County Fair filled with booths with enthusiastic spectators watching four-cylinder cars crash into each other, back and forth along the track and fill the sky with smoke. A vehicle caught fire.

Dozens of custom designed and decorated demolition vehicles lined up at the start of each of the five rounds, the last remaining cars being the winners of each round.

The first three rounds of the night were reserved for four-cylinder cars. Other rounds for mini-trucks and one for mini-vans followed. These finalists then went head-to-head to determine the winner of the evening’s $ 1,400 prize.

“We watch the demo every year – the best part of the fair,” said Ryan McDonald, 58, of Hudson. “We always took the kids, now we watch with the grandchildren, that rumble keeps you going, gets us all excited. It’s good.”

Michael Sitzer Jr. of Nassau won the top prize on Thursday. Second place went to Blyn Anderson of Hudson and third place went to James Kramer of East Nassau.

At the start of each heat, the cars lined up along the track as the names of their drivers were announced over the public address system. The crowd counted down from three when the round began and the cars collided with each other. The last vehicles still able to race in each lap would move on to the next lap and compete for the grand prize.

“We come here for two things – the food and the demo,” said Aaron Liberwischitz 30 of Coxsackie. “It’s just awesome, man, I have to love it. What’s not to like? Cars crashing. I used to work for a mechanic so I live for that here. Court! “

Throughout the night, crowds watched pieces of cars fly off the vehicles, smoke crept in from all sides and at one point a small fire broke out under the hood of a vehicle, which prompted the demonstration to be briefly interrupted while the standby firefighters set it up. outside and the driver escaped safely through the windowless front of his car.

“Oh my gosh, we love the demo,” said Cheyanne Smith, 24, of Chatham. “We meet up with friends, come early, get a prominent place. It is getting so strong that you can feel it in your guts. And it’s just a good time, good end of the night. It’s back and we love it.

There was an additional competition for the best vehicle appearing for this year’s theme, “Heroes of the Pandemic”. Initially, the two cars competing for the prize for the best appearance took the field. The winner was determined by which car received the most public applause. The winner, Steven Crawly of Craryville, made a large red cape on the back of his black No.77 car, which depicted a heartbeat from the sides.

The demolition started at 6.30 p.m., but the stands filled up around 5 p.m. At the start of the night’s derby, the stands, which can hold around 750 people, said fair director Angelo Nero were almost full. Hundreds more lined up along the fence along the derby track. The concrete fence and barriers separate fans safely from the action on the track.

“It’s so cool,” said Justin Summers, 8, of East Greenbush. “The whole side exploded and it was smoking everywhere. It was so cool. When the guy run over it and the other guy run over him, it was smoking. The whole back part was smashed and it went way past and shattered. They just crashed the small cars today, they have big ones when we come tomorrow. It was so cool.

Large trucks, SUVs and other 6-cylinder vehicles were to participate in the demolition derby on Friday night for another prize of $ 1,400.

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