Hoeing by hand, horse-drawn plowing and manual harvesting went out of fashion about the time of the first Armada Fair, 145 years ago, replaced by equipment powered by the steam engine and later the internal combustion engine. On five of the seven days of the 2017 fair, the main event celebrates, in the most raucous ways possible, the triumph of motorheads over muscle.
Bump and Run
In Bump and Run, 10-15 junker cars compete in eight heats around a circular track that features hills and sharp turns at each end. The trailing cars intentionally bump the lead cars causing their rear tires to lose traction. The drivers of the lead cars are forced to correct their steering and slow down as the trailing drivers attempt to pass them before the next corner. Bumping often occurs coming off a corner, but it’s more dangerous in the middle of a corner when both cars are loose and can spin out of control, triggering major pile ups.
The Bump and Run cars careen around the track on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 7-10 p.m. in the main arena. Grandstand seating is free with paid admission to the fair.
“The typical demolition derby event consists of five or more drivers competing by deliberately ramming their vehicles into one another,” according to the fair website at https://armadafair.org/mainevents/demoderby. “The last driver whose vehicle is still operational is awarded the victory.”
“It’s probably the fan favorite of the week,” said Dana Ulinski, from the fair’s main office.
The heats combine like-junkers — front wheel drive cars, rear wheel cars, back-to-basics vechicles and four-wheel drive vans.
“The cars line up and at the green flag just smash into each other,” said Ulinski. Drivers signal their inability to continue by waving a broken stick. They climb out of the cars, leaving the wrecks abandoned on the track.