The show will go on, just a little later than planned.
The demolition derby, usually one of the more popular events at the Washington County Fair, was just one of the unfortunate victims of this year's bad weather. Heavy rain forced the closure of the midway on the final day of the fair and the cancellation of the derby.
"I've been here for nine years and I think about six years ago we had to cancel the derby," said Bonnie Gill, with the Washington County Fair Board. "That's the only time I remember us having to cancel."
Around 20 drivers had been expected at the original derby.
"We knew we weren't going to make any money on it," said Gill. "You need mud for a derby but not that kind of mud. The entire track was horrible."
Mike Martin, owner of Martin Motorsports and organizer of the event, said the fair board made a good call.
If you go
What: Demolition Derby.
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday; pit gates open at 2 p.m., general admission gates open at 4 p.m., inspection from 3 to 6 p.m.
Cost: Admission is $5; pit passes are $20.
For information on the derby rules or to enter: Mike Martin, 373-4144.
"They made a wise decision to cancel," he said. "I understand the rodeo (on Sunday night) had horses and cattle in mud six inches deep. The drivers might (still) have to stay away from some areas of the track but I don't foresee a cancellation to this one."
Martin said his phone has been ringing constantly from drivers wanting to know details of the event. He expects 30 to 40 cars for Saturday's make-up derby and noted that the number of entries for derbies all over the area has dropped. The price of scrap metal - $500 to 600 - is just too much for some drivers to resist.
Still, Saturday's show is expected to bring drivers from all over the area.
"Word of mouth has really gotten around to people.," Martin said. "I've heard from drivers from Athens, McConnelsville, Doddridge County - some of them are going to have to make some changes to be in our derby - but I think we're going to have a 4-cylinder class, a V-6 class and a V-8 class."
Gill said she would like to see 1,000 people in attendance for Saturday's event and Martin said with the feedback he's received, that wouldn't be unheard of.
"This should be our biggest derby of the season," he said.
Every little bit will help, according to Gill, as the fair board tries to recoup some of the money lost on this year's fair. How much the weather and low attendance will set the board back will be determined at tonight's fair board meeting. Other events, such as the popular haunted house, which returns Oct. 21, 22 and 28, 29 for the second season, a mud bog scheduled for Oct. 16 and a Christmas auction slated for Dec. 3, are expected to help make up for the loss.
"Hopefully these events will help to pull us out of the hole," Gill said.