Fair opens with the roar of engines

By Josh Moniz

Staff Writer

NEW ULM – Loud crashes, screaming engines and roaring tires welcomed in the Brown County Free Fair on Wednesday night at the Demolition Derby.

The event featured 56 vehicles across six heats: Old Iron Stock, ’80s plus Newer Stock, Ladies of the ’80s, Modified, Trucks and Free-for-All

The passion for derby participation is strong among the drivers. The event features a wide roster of regularly appearing drivers from all over the region and the state.

Marcus Seifert, of Sleepy Eye, has been doing demolition derbies exclusively for nine years. He said he finds other vehicle sports like racing too tame in comparison.

“I’m really into [demolition derby] because it gets your pulse pounding. It can really be thrilling. Plus, it’s just plain fun to crash into other people,” said Seifert.

Demolition derby participants bond as a strong community, according to Seifert. He regularly shares ideas for improvement with fellow enthusiasts.

When asked about his own style, he said his personal trick is to spend the early part of the competition driving backwards. This technique lets him to impact opponents like regular driving, but it also allows him to protect the car’s engine in the front, thus giving him a longer time on the track. However, he will quickly switch to forward driving if he sees an opening to get a strong side shot on another car.

Meanwhile, the fair has its usual lineup of animal shows and competitions.

On Wednesday afternoon, the 4-H Pet Show featured all shapes and sizes of animals. The winner was Cassidy Hacker, 14, of Sleepy Eye with her seven-year old llama Snowflake. The reserve winner was Tanner Dorschner, 9, of New Ulm with his five-year old dog Savannah.

Events today

The fair will start today at 8:30 a.m. with several animal shows: 4-H Sheep, FFA Sheep and Open Class Sheep shows. Later in the day, 4-H Rabbit and Open Class Rabbit shows will be held at 1 p.m. Finally, FFA Beef and 4-H Beef shows will be held at 3:30 p.m.

For entertainment at the Civic Center, a Senior Citizens Program starts at 10:30 a.m. Ventriloquist James Wedgewood performs at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Amateur Talent Contest starts at 7 p.m.

For musical performances in the Entertainment Hall, the Wendinger Band will perform at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., the Schell’s Hobo Band will perform at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Brat Pack Radio starts at 7:30 p.m.

(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at jmoniz@nujournal.com)

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