BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: North Durham's Fair season officially kicks off on Friday August 22, with the annual Blackstock Demolition Derby at 8 p.m. The 149th annual Blackstock Fair and its opening 'Wild, Wild West' parade will follow on Saturday morning.
A special feature of this year's Demolition Derby will be The Canadian Crusher monster truck - on display and offering rides throughout the evening.
The Derby will feature four-cylinder and six-cylinder classes, alongside the always popular Soccer Moms class, which pits mini-van wielding mothers head-to-head in the derby pit, all in the name of charity.
Tina Carter, organizer of the Soccer Moms class, recently spoke with The Standard about the dedication of this year's mash up to the late Brian Van Camp - a father, husband and community leader who passed away in a farming accident on Dec. 16 of last year.
Mr. Van Camp worked with Ms. Carter to originate the idea of the women-only mini-van class four years ago, in an effort to get more women involved in the event, and provide an exciting and unique spectacle for the Blackstock Demolition Derby.
"We're all going to miss Brian being up in the announcer's booth, everyone remembers his big, generous smile and energetic voice up there," said Ms. Carter. "This year, the derby is going to be all about him - I know he'll be watching from somewhere, and making sure we all stay safe and have fun."
Ms. Carter's Chevrolet mini-van is prepped and painted for the derby, a labour of love that usually takes a couple weeks of sweat and hard work to gut and make safe.
"I'm going to paint Brian's name on my van, I owe the whole thing to him - it was our idea and he always pushed me to make sure it was a go," explained Ms. Carter.
Mr. Van Camp held an adamant belief that the Blackstock Fair and Derby were important events for the community, and that they brought families together to visit and share in the fun.
The entire Van Camp family has earned a special thank you from Ms. Carter and the Soccer Moms, who said that the family has stepped up to make sure that the Fair grows bigger and better every year.
Noting that Mr. Van Camp acted as a unifying force and organizer for the Derby and farm events at the Blackstock Fair, Ms. Carter explained that "things were a little bit difficult this year without him," but that the behind-the-scenes team has pulled together to prove their community spirit, even in harsh times.
"All of the girls and the other derby drivers are absolutely pumped for Friday night," said Ms. Carter. "We're incredibly thankful for the support of Langille's and the Martin family for donating and working on the vehicles."
Maggie Van Camp, Brian's wife, is proud of the whole team for keeping the Demolition Derby and the Soccer Moms class alive and strong. "I miss Brian a lot, but I'm proud that the Soccer Moms are continuing on," said Ms. Van Camp. "This year is for him, it's a special dedication."
Other highlights of the Blackstock Fair, will be the Hoofprint Vaulters riding team, an auto-extraction performed by the Scugog Fire Department, and a fencing sport demonstration.
As always, fair day will be packed full of local talent, livestock, crop and flower competitions and many children's activities.
Local country star Lindsay Broughton will be finishing off the celebration, by performing at a special dance inside the newly-renovated Blackstock Rec Centre from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday night.
Come to the Demolition Derby on Friday, August 22, and the Fair on Saturday, August 23, and experience all that Blackstock has to offer. For further information, please visit www.BlackstockFair.ca.