As many as 700 spectators turn out for ‘October Smash’

Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

CHESTERVILLE — An estimated 500 to 700 people turned out to see 75 vehicles smashed to smithereens as Ontario Demolition Derby put its annual “season ender fender bender” into gear at the Chesterville fairgrounds.

The “October Smash,” as dubbed by the Chesterville & District Agricultural Society, represented the first time the Bobcaygeon-based demolition derby firm — which employs several people in the SD&G area — held its traditional autumn finale in Chesterville.

It was a return to the site for owner Jim Graham, who had been impressed by the facilities when his long-established company debuted as organizer of the Chesterville Fair derby this past August.

“We said, ‘That’s the place, close grandstands, nice track, lots of room,” said Graham, recalling that auspicious beginning.

The company had been mulling Navan for this year’s season closer, after many years in Lakefield, Ontario, before settling on Chesterville quite recently, according to Graham.

“These people are getting a hell of a show here today,” he said of the spectators, adding, “We’ll make it an annual event.”

The 2018 edition will also be televised, he reported.

“Wow!” exclaimed Chesterville & District Agricultural Society President Carol Johnson at that news, also expressing her delight with the event and turnout.

For Ontario Demolition Derby, the special match is intended as a revenue-neutral thank-you to both the venue owner and the drivers, who get a final shot at mixing it up in 2017. “They’ve made some decent money here today,” Graham said of the local fair board, adding his company “broke even, and I’m OK with that.”

“We ran out of gift bags, we ran out hats, we ran out of everything, which is good,” he exclaimed.

Next year’s event should also see an additional food vendor on site beyond the single chip truck that stayed busy all day Saturday, according to the Graham.

Another vendor sold t-shirts and auto parts.

In the licenced grandstands, the audience was able to watch the show while refreshed by beer sold by the Society. The action included a mini-van class, not often seen at local fairs during the summertime.

The event was followed that evening by the fair board’s second annual barn dance and pie auction.

Seventy-five vehicles took a beating in Ontario Demolition Derby‘s “season ender fender-bender” at the Chesterville Fairgrounds on Saturday. Organizers say the local venue will host the company’s annual send-off again next year, and going forward, after the success of the Oct. 14 event. Powerwheeler kids (seen in the clip) kicked off that afternoon’s action — also dubbed “October Smash” by the local fair board — in front of 500-plus spectators.


Cars by class based on size mini, mid-size, full-size and vans.

Mini — Natasha Davey (1st); Blair Meikle-John (2nd); John Chartrand (3rd); and Boom Boom Derek Bradley (also 3rd).

Mid-size — Dennis Wier (1st); Grant Bartholomew (2nd); and Max Pilon (3rd)

Vans — Michel Holte (1st); (2nd) Darwin Lapenske

Full-size — Jeremy Williams (1st); John Chartrand (2nd); Josh Watson (3rd); Rick Clark (3rd).

Mini-feature — Jesse Schultz (1st); Blair Merkle John (2nd); Austin McFaul (3rd)

A good sampling of the action from Saturday’s “season ender fender-bender,” above.


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