Demo derby pit will expand in spring
According to Roberts Lions Club member Marv Flettre, the demolition derby pit expansion in Roberts Village Park approved by the Roberts Village Board in October will have to wait until spring.
“Unfortunately, we ran out of good weather,” Flettre said.
The pit expansion will begin in the spring, increasing the size of the pit from 110-by-93-feet to 130-by-130-feet, Flettre said.
According to Flettre, the pit expansion is something the Lions have considered for years, but the money, approval and donated time needed for the project never worked out.
Flettre said he made the idea a priority when he took over running the Good Neighbor Days’ demolition derby last year.
“Our biggest inputs have come from current drivers,” Flettre said. “Because of the pit’s smaller size, some drivers shy away from this derby. The hope is by doing this that we’re gaining another 20-feet out of it, so we’re hoping to get another two cars per side comfortably.”
Eight cars fit comfortably in the pit the size it is now. The hope is to fit 12 cars easily with the increased pit size.
Along with the expansion is the hope to host winter demo derbies. Flettre said as far he knows, no one is really doing winter demo derbies in the area. He said he has heard of one near Milwaukee.
“They are not as big as summer derbies, but the hope is to bring something in for people in midwinter,” Flettre said. “There’s nothing special going on in the winter that’s Lions-based. We do a lot of community events.”
Flettre said it used to be common practice for ice races to be held on the area lakes, but those were curbed by environmental organizations.
“We want to make this a big draw to get winter drivers back,” Flettre said. “We would flood and and ice down the pit, kind of like an ice rink. We would have heated tents for people to keep warm in and food and beverage stands.”
Roberts Concrete will donate the concrete barriers going inside the pit, Flettre said. A to Z Lawn and Landscape of Roberts and J. Haas Excavating of Roberts have offered their equipment and time. Money has also been donated by Lions members for the project.
“This is a good starting point to make the winter derby a big event,” Flettre said.