CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF
SPICEWOOD — Spicewood volunteer firefighter Brian Crawford loves smashing into cars, not just because he can but also for the difference he makes by doing it.”I’m focused on all those drivers when I’m out there. When I see them coming at me, I’m getting out of the way and then getting back at them,” said Crawford, who has been with the Spicewood Volunteer Fire Department-EMS for nearly two years. “The best way I can describe it is an adrenaline rush. It’s just fun.”
He’s not talking about when he’s driving to work or even a fire call but describing how he’ll handle the 21st annual Spicewood VFD/EMS Destruction Derby on Sept. 7.
Crawford is one of two volunteers with the department entered in the smas-’em-up thrill ride. But many more competitors are also registered for the derby.
The event — the department’s biggest fundraiser of the year — generates about $20,000 for the all-volunteer agency, according to EMS Director Patsy Lester.
“It comes at a good time, when donations have slowed down,” she said. “It really is an event we depend on. It gives the guys and girls a chance to build up their cars and let off some steam out there.”[box]IF YOU GO
WHAT: 21st annual Spicewood VFD-EMS Destruction Derby
WHEN: Sept. 7 with gates opening at 4 p.m. and racing at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Spicewood Fire Hall, 9805 Texas 71 East
ADMISSION: $7 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12
FOOD AND DRINKS: $5 cooler fee; BYOB; concessions with food and drinks
MORE INFORMATION: www.spicewoodvfd.com[/box]
The derby, which attracts thousands of spectators, starts at 6 p.m. at the Spicewood Fire Hall, 9805 Texas 71 East. The department is located across from the CR 413 intersection. The gates open at 4 p.m.
Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12. There also is a $5 cooler fee.
Concessions include food and drinks as well as T-shirts and ball caps, but the event is BYOB.
The derby features three classes: full-size, compact and ladies. Competitors also can find a second life in the consolation bracket.
“We try to keep it family-friendly because it’s something kids love to watch,” Lester said.
For participants like Crawford, the event is a family affair as well.
Of the two cars he has entered and has prepared for competition, his aunt Jeannie Hodde of Temple will drive a fortified 1983 Cadillac in the ladies category. Crawford will drive a 1979 Lincoln Town Car in the men’s large car category.
“You get your bell rung every now and then,” he said, using a metaphor for knocking one’s head around. “We’ve got good cars this year. They’re solid. You want a good, solid car, not too rusty.”
The rules are simple. No more than two minutes must pass between each collision with the other cars in the arena during a certain period of time.
In his fourth year as a participant, Crawford said he welcomes the competition and the chance to delight the crowd.
“Kids love it,” he said. “We’ll have a blast. I guarantee.”
To become a participant, find out more about the rules or volunteer at the destruction derby, go to www.spicewoodvfd.com or call Lester at (512) 755-0001.