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Monday, 28 August 2017 14:29

Five tons of fun at the fair

Written by  Dennis Hines
Fairgoers can expect to see monster trucks go airborne during the grandstand show on Friday, Sept. 1. Four of the giant vehicles are slated to compete in racing, trick and freestyle contests. Fairgoers can expect to see monster trucks go airborne during the grandstand show on Friday, Sept. 1. Four of the giant vehicles are slated to compete in racing, trick and freestyle contests. Terry Mayer/staff

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY — The sound of trucks roaring and the sight of cars being crushed under heavy wheels will be just some of the highlights for this year’s Walworth County Fair, set to kick off Wednesday, Aug. 30, and run through Labor Day.

The All Star Monster Trucks show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, at the grandstand. The show will feature four monster trucks participating in three types of competitions — best trick, racing and freestyle.

“(The trucks) get judged on how they’re jumping and how fast they go. Of course, the crowd has their opinion of who their favorites are,” said Larry Gaffey, general manager for the Walworth County Fair. “We’re bringing in 10 passenger cars and a full-size van that they’re going to be driving these trucks over.”

The show also will feature performances from Bobby Cox, “the motorsports clown.” A pre-show meet and greet, in which attendees can meet the drivers and ride in a monster truck, will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“(Cox) will be performing skits between each competition,” said Brian Wagner, president of All Star Motorsports Productions. “We also will be offering rides on the monster trucks before the show.”

The monster trucks weigh about 11,000 pounds and are about 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

“The bodies of these trucks are similar to a normal truck; however, some of (the drivers) shape (their trucks) differently. Last year, there was a truck shaped like a scorpion,” Gaffey said. “They’re typically a normal-sized body, but the framework and the suspension are super sized. The tires themselves end up being taller than most trucks you see on the road.”

A lot of work goes into maintaining the trucks before each performance.

“It takes about 50 hours a week to maintain and repair the trucks between each show,” Wagner said.

Safety precautions are set in place before each performance. Wagner said all trucks have to pass a safety inspection and must be equipped with a safety harness. The drivers are required to wear a helmet and fire suit.

The monster truck show also has to take place a certain distance from the audience.

“There’s certain parts of the grandstand area that can’t be used during this event just for safety reasons,” Gaffey said. “People get mad at us because we don’t allow them to sit in certain areas, but it’s for their own safety.”

This is the third year a monster truck show has been featured at the fair. The shows continue to draw good attendance because monster truck competitions continue to be a popular form of entertainment, Wagner said.

“It’s entertainment for people of all ages,” Wagner said. “It’s enjoyed by kids and adults. It’s good, family fun. We say it’s for people between the ages of 3 and 83.”

Florida-based All Star Motorsports Productions hosts monster truck shows across the country.

“We go all over the United States, even to Hawaii and Alaska,” Wagner said. “So, we go to all 50 states ... ”

The cost to attend the All Star Monster Trucks show is $5. Tickets can be purchased the evening of the competition or by going to walworthcountyfair.com. The $5 is in addition to fair admission.

“We’ve sold out the grandstand the last two years,” Wagner said. “I suggest people come early to grab their tickets and grab their seats. I encourage people to come early to meet the drivers and see the show.”

 

See the big trucks

• What: All Star Monster Trucks show

• When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1

• Where: grandstand, Walworth County Fairgrounds

• How much: $5 plus fair admission

 

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