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By Roger Harnack
Franklin Connection 

Combines to battle this weekend in Lind

Racing, parade and demolition derby on tap


Last updated 6/14/2023 at 8:57am

LIND – The city roars to life Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10, as the 34th annual Combine Demolition Derby Days brings thousands of residents and visitors out for weekend of smashing fun.

The highlight of the event is the Lions Club Combine Demolition Derby, in which area farmers, fans and others put their fortified combines to the test in a demolition contest, with the last combine running crowned the victor.

But the weekend also includes a car show, barbecue, car and pickup truck racing, grain truck racing, camping, music, a beer garden and the Lind Chamber of Commerce Grand Parade.

The action kicks off Friday with car and pickup truck racing at Lions Club Arena. The “run whatcha brung” event features several local and area favorites, some may be as young as 16.

“Pickups and cars race Friday,” race coordinator and Lions Club volunteer Eric Lund said.

Car racing features full- and mid-sized cards, station wagons and sedans. Pickup races feature 2-wheel –drive, full-size rigs.

“Pickups and cars race Friday,” race coordinator and Lions Club volunteer Eric Lund said, noting prospective racers “just got to show up.”

Registration opens at about 3 p.m. Friday; racing starts with time trials at 6 p.m.

“We have regular heat races and Australian pursuit,” he said. “And we have powder puff for the women.”

Lund said fans should look for local favorites – the Labes family and Randy Wicks of Lind; and Bob Larson, formerly of Ritzville.

After racing, a band will be playing at the arena.

On Saturday morning, derby fans take a break from the arena action and head downtown for the annual car show, Lind Derby Kiddie Parade, the Chamber of Commerce Grand Parade and the Lind Lions Club fundraising barbecue in City Park.

Lind Chamber of Commerce President and parade coordinator Jamie Schmunk said the event is always fun.

The Kiddie Parade begins at 10:45 a.m. This year’s theme is ‘60s and ‘70s Flower Power, with prizes given out to the Top 3 entries, she said.

“It’s something a lot of people can do and not be expensive,” she said.

As the Kiddie Parade wraps up, the Grand Parade will be staging for an 11 a.m. start.

Organizers are expecting floats, horses, wagons, cars and trucks, tractors and boats, and of course, combines prepped for combat.

Parade participants have to check in at the Lind Pool prior to 9 a.m.; entries will be judged at 9:30 a.m.

This year’s parade grand marshals are Steven and Kim Schosstol; Steve is the pastor of Lind Assembly of God Church.

The parade will loop around downtown, Schmunk said, noting there will be horses, floats, community organizations and, of course, combat-ready combines and their crews.

Parade entries are still being accepted Schmunk said.

“Everyone is welcome; contact me,” she said.

While downtown, Schmunk said visitors can have their faces painted in Centennial Park and stop in local businesses.

“This is huge for our local business owners; they count on this weekend,” she said, noting many local businesses derive a large percentage of their income from Combine Derby weekend. “The really look forward to this.”

Schmunk, who has coordinated the parade for the last five years, said spending this weekend in Lind is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a fun, safe, family-oriented celebration.

“It’s a lot of small town fun. It’s a safe environment and everyone is welcome,” she said. “We get thousands of people in town.”

Following the downtown festivities, the action returns to Lind Lions Arena for more racing and the weekend’s premiere event – the Combine Demolition Derby.

“We’ll start with pickups and grain trucks,” Lund said, noting the racing and demolition derby get underway at about 2 p.m.

Anyone entering the grain truck or pickup truck racing should get to the arena about noon to register.

The weekend culminates with the Combine Demolition Derby, which is slated to start about 3 p.m.

Last year’s derby drew 15 entries from Lind, Ritzville, LaCrosse, Hay, Odessa, Sprague, Cheney and other locales.

Lind drivers last year included Tryan Doyle on “The Extinguisher,” Derrick Laird on “The Cavy,” Bryden Laird on “Pour Life Choices,” Branden Aby on “Let’s Go Branden,” Taylor Kerr on “The OSU Enticer,” Eric Labes on “Grain Digger” and Cory Dawson on “Butter Face.”

William Mann of Sprague drove the Ritzville-based “Suds,” Cody Kulm of Cheney drove “The Bandit,” and Alika Conley drove Tri-Cities-based “Jaws.” Kaiden Schorzman of Odessa was atop the “General Lee.”

From Whitman County, Caleb Hannas of Hay drove “Orange Crush” and Cody Bennett of LaCrosse drove “Fubar.”

Derrick Laird, Cody Dawson and Kaiden Schorzman are not expected to be in the derby this year, derby coordinator Mike Doyle said Monday.

“But we do have a couple new drivers,” he added.

Grady Gfeller of Pullman will be in his first combine demolition derby as a driver, he said. Another new driver is expected from Spangle.

“We hoping the weather cooperates,” Mike Doyle said. “We are hoping for a big crowd; it should be a good derby with a lot of car racing and pickup racing.”

Following racing, a band is planned to wrap up weekend entertain at the arena.

But the weekend isn’t just about fun – it’s also an important way to support the community, both Eric Lund and Mike Doyle said.

“We’re the only service club in town,” Lund said. “All of the money we raise from this is funneled back into the community.”

Doyle said funds help support not only the upkeep of the arena, but are also used to support the Lind Senior Center, the annual Easter egg hunt and celebration, food and gift baskets for indigent residents and various youth clubs at Lind-Ritzville High School.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 5092356184
Twitter: @RogerHarnack


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