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Vintage hot rods raise Ruckus at fairgrounds

Hot rods, retro rock and gravity-defying motorcycles return this weekend to Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Bazetta for Rockabilly Ruckus.

The car show is open to pre-1979 vehicles only, and those car owners also can purchase passes to take those cars for a spin on the fairgrounds’ dirt track. Live music is planned all three days.

Among the returning attractions is the American Motor Drome Company Wall of Death, a form of entertainment that dates back more than a century.

“Walls of death have been around since 1915,” said Miss Corinna, one of the performers who will be at the fairgrounds this weekend. “It’s a true piece of Americana. Started on the midways and fairgounds, its true history still is being discovered. During its heyday in the 1930s and ’40s, they were everywhere, transportable and going from town to town.”

Three riders will maneuver motorcycles, go karts and electric bicycles on the circular wall as 3 Gs of gravitational force keep the rider and vehicle moving parallel to the ground.

Only four walls of death exist today, and Miss Corinna described the American Motor Drome Company as both the largest and the most traditional of the ones still in operation.

“There is nothing like the wall of death — thrills, chills and spills,” Miss Corinna said.

It doesn’t require tremendous speed. Riders can achieve the necessary gravitational force at 25 to 30 miles an hour. Faster speeds can make riders feel more secure on the wall but provide less margin for error.

“The goal is to go a slow as you can to keep sticking to the wall,” she said.

The American Motor Drome Company will be on site all three days doing shows every hour on the hour.

Friday’s activities include a Shine Run at 5 p.m. and performances by Barbershop DJ Larry Sinclair, JJ Vicars, The Kookie Kutters and Low Life Drifters.

Saturday’s slate includes a Pinup and Junior Greaser Contest at 12:30 p.m. and a burnout contest at 5 p.m. A charity auction at 3 p.m. will raise money for the It’s About a Warrior Foundation, which aids post 9/11 veterans and their families. Car show awards will be announced at 4:30 p.m.

Entertainment on Saturday includes Steve Trent, a Y-town Swing performance, Boom Rockets and The Hi-Frequencies.

The final day includes a vintage fashion show at 12:15 p.m., kicker-era bike show awards at 4 p.m. and entertainment by Ben Anderton and Braddock Brothers.

If you go …

WHAT: Rockabilly Ruckus

WHEN: Noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Trumbull County Fairgrounds, 899 Everett Hull Road, Bazetta

HOW MUCH: $20 each day or $40 for weekend pass. For more information, go to rockabillyruckus.com.

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