The city of Buckeye is hosting its annual Demolition Derby Saturday at the Helzapoppin Rodeo Arena.
The smash-bang event will take place at 7 p.m. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m.
The derby is a tradition that has been held in Buckeye since 1998, said Myra Curtis, community engagement manager.
“It’s just a lot of good, clean fun,” she said. “These guys build their cars specifically so they can take them out there and smash them up. It sounds very crazy but the crowd loves it — they’re on their feet, they’re yelling and cheering for their favorite car — the energy is amazing.”
Cars race around the track and crash into other cars. Prize money totals more than $1,000 for the drivers, Curtis said.
In addition, the event will feature a lawn mower race, raffles and food and drink vendors. Children between the ages of 5 and 8 can sign up for a chance to run a foot race at intermission, get their faces painted and play in one of several bounce houses. Some activities require a fee.
New this year is a 30- to 40-foot gaming trailer for teens and adults with multiple television screens and games to choose from and the National Guard Football Toss and Dunk Tank.
Curtis said the event may also include a truck derby.
A crowd of nearly 3,000 people attend the twice-annual derby each spring and fall, Curtis said.
“As you enter the gate, you smell the sweet aroma of kettle corn and fry bread, mixed with mesquite grilled burgers, buffalo dogs and roasted chicken,” Curtis said. “Farther down the food court, you’ll find sweet treats of shaved ice and ice cream.”
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and younger. A family pack costs $25, and includes tickets for two adults and two children.
The arena is at Miller Road, south of Baseline Road.
For information about the derby, visit www.buckeyeaz.gov.
Jeanette Cruz can be reached by email at email@example.com.