WESTLOCK – An estimated 3,000-plus spectators packed the stands for the annual demolition derby that wrapped the 107th-annual Westlock and District Agricultural Fair Aug. 20.
“I don’t know what it is, but people just love demolition derbies. We can pack the house,” said long-time derby organizer Byron Boutin. “The rodeo does bring some people, but when it’s demolition derby time we just pack the whole house. The track was actually perfect.”
The derby saw a slightly lower number of participants this year and included 14 cars, eight trucks and four mini-cars that competed in categories including cars, trucks, mini-cars, best dressed and mad dog for the hardest hitting car and hardest hitting truck.
“In the derby world, that’s probably the best trophy you can get. Everybody loves that trophy and mad dog means a lot to a driver as he’s put on the best performance, he’s tried the hardest and he might not win, but he’s put on a show for the crowd,” he continued.
“Numbers (of cars) are a little down this year because some years we usually get up around that 18 mark, but now that we’re doing trucks, we’re starting to get more trucks to Westlock so we got a variety of both and you’re still getting a good number.”
The derby originated in the 1980s when the Brown family first held the event, noted Boutin.
“We took it over in the 2000s and we, the Boutin family, have been doing it for about 15 years. I started demoing in the 1990s when I was 16 years old,” he said. “My whole family does it … my cousins, my nephews and my brothers.”
The family hosts derbies at fairs across the region and also competes in Barrhead, Thorhild, and Legal and added a new stop in Vulcan this summer.
Boutin noted the supportive, “family-like” atmosphere among participants at the events and said he is thankful to his family for all their help.
“Everybody helps each other out and everybody wants to see everybody in there competing and having fun,” said Boutin. “Even if we’re going to be wrecking things up that we put all our time into, it’s so enjoyable.”
1. Dylan Boutin
2. Jayden Boutin
3. Val Leifso
Trucks winner – Laine Hawryliw
Mad Dog Cars – Jesse Ross
Mad Dog Trucks – Laine Hawryliw & Blake Hassan
Mini Cars – Danielle Strasdin
Best Dressed – Jayden Boutin