The July 4 demolition derby is back.
Details are still being worked out. But after the Hinckley Lions Club announced it would no longer host the annual demolition derby after more than 40 years, area rancher Justin Louder stepped into the breach.
Louder says he is working with Stirrin’ Dirt, a Utah-based promoter that hosts a number of shows throughout the state, including May Mania in Ogden and the Wasatch Wipeout in Heber City as well as a popular Las Vegas show. Louder says Stirrin’ Dirt will deliver a new experience for fans of the popular summertime event.
The derby has typically been the largest, most well-attended event at the county fairgrounds every year.
“My parents were members of the Lions Club years ago and always tried to help and do what they could. They were some of the first members of the Lions Club. This is a tradition I didn’t want to see die. I didn’t want to see the revenue potential in the city and the county die. Or people not coming home for the July Fourth derby tradition,” he said.
Louder, whose brother Jim Louder has announced the derby since it was run in Hinckley, said he wants to get back to basics and offer an event that has enough prize money to draw in more cars, but also with a rules package that makes derbying fun again for all ages.
He said not having a derby on July 4 was simply not an option.
“If we let it die, you will never get it back,” he said. “It’s the only derby in the state of Utah on the Fourth of July weekend. Somebody else will pick up that date and have a derby.”
Kevin Morris, West Millard maintenance supervisor in charge of the fairgrounds in Delta, confirmed the county is working to reserve the fairgrounds for Stirrin’ Dirt on July 4.
Louder said Monday the company was getting its insurance in place for the event, which would secure its reservation of the fairgrounds facility.
“We’re in the process of getting everything done that the county has asked us to do,” Louder said. “It’s a lot of work with two months to go.”
Louder said he’s had nothing but positive reactions to news the derby is back on.
“I have had nothing but positive feedback from everybody. They are grateful that someone stepped up to try to make it work,” he said.
For about five years, Louder and others ran a derby in September each year called the Last Chance Crash Bash. He says he let that show go, but wishes he hadn’t.
“Looking back I wish I would have never let that show go. I wish I would have kept it going. That’s another reason I thought I can’t see this one die,” he said.
The Delta Area Chamber of Commerce had offered to host a monster truck show in lieu of the derby this year. City and county officials welcomed the news a few weeks ago. But, with Louder and Stirrin’ Dirt, it appears that effort has fallen by the wayside.
Louder said he didn’t think a local monster truck show would offer the kind of entertainment value a derby does.
“It wasn’t going to be the kind of a show some of the kids and people might have thought it was going to be. But the demolition derby is always carnage and people like carnage. They like seeing crashed up cars,” he said.
Louder said Stirrin’ Dirt will produce and run the derby, but local volunteers will likely be needed.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help make the derby a stellar event are urged to contact Louder at 435-864-7918. People can text their contact information and willingness to serve as volunteers and will be contacted by promoters with more details.