ENTERPRISE – The first Bowlby Bash Derby was so much fun, that it promises to be even bigger and better this time around.
“I have a few new ones that I’ve heard about, and most of the 13 cars we had last year will be back,” derby organizer Ron Osterloh said last week.
The Bowlby Derby on Saturday, July 14, should be known throughout the state this year, since Enterprise mayor Steve Lear – who sponsored a derby car in 2011 – sent out a challenge to every other mayor in the state of Oregon to enter a new division, the “Gravity of Mayoral Influence.” Osterloh admitted that Lear may be the only racer in that category, but there’s no doubt now the word has spread.
The exact number of derby cars won’t be known until the safety inspections, which were scheduled this week from 4 to 6 p.m. either Tuesday or Friday, are held at the EHS ag shop at the top of Main Street as part of the registration process.
In addition to the new mayoral category, the two other race categories – Artistic and Speedster, each with three age divisions – remain the same.
Osterloh said that a couple of major changes should add excitement to the race.
After the Show and Shine event from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, at noon all the entries will be pushed the length of the street fair and back in a parade designed to give vendors a chance to see the derbies.
The biggest change will be that the soapbox cars will all be timed during the inspection, and instead of rolling down Main Street during the race, one at a time, will be matched up for the big race. At least the speedster derbies will roll side by side, two at a time. “It will be exciting,” Osterloh said.
One added element of excitement for Osterloh is a challenge to him and his car from Sam Summers of U.S. Cellular, who was disqualified last year because Summer’s derby lost a wheel and failed to finish.
“It’s an opportunity for him to get beat by the organizer,” Osterloh said. “He might as well tie an anchor to his car so he’ll have an excuse when he loses.”
Bowlby Bash race time will be 1 p.m. Saturday. The derby will be followed by an awards program at the derby information booth. During the Show and Shine, derby admirers are invited to vote for People’s Choice favorites.