116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
BLAIRSTOWN — The Blairstown Sauerkraut Days are this weekend and as part of the community’s identity, fundraising is key, according to Keela Roberts, who is promoting the Demo Derby (6 p.m. Saturday).
“One bad derby can ruin you,” said Roberts, a mother of four who has won most-aggressive driver, as well as first-place in several derbies herself. “If no one showed up, we’d have enough for this Sauerkraut Days, but after that we’d be done.”
The two derbies Blairstown hosts not only help fund several local organizations in Benton County, such as the 4-H Club, they secure deposits needed for the following year’s events.
“The rest goes toward everything from carnival rides for the kids and prizes for all of the games to the free street dance Saturday night,” Roberts said.
While this is the 40th derby the town has hosted to sponsor the festival, it’s the first time Roberts will promote the event by herself.
“It was my dad and I’s thing to help the original promoter from 2010 to 2014,” said Roberts, who then helped her dad when he took over.
Five classes will compete with a live auction being held shortly after 6 p.m. for a Gut-‘n-Go car that the winner will drive in the derby shortly after winning the bid.
The proceeds from the auction, along with all tips given at the concessions, will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House.
“The goal is to put on a good show for the crowd,” Roberts said. “On the back side of it, the car count is the most important aspect.”
Roberts said any derby needs 50 cars.
“The more money that is raised at the Blairstown Derby, the more money goes into the town and the surrounding communities,” Roberts said, adding that not only does that always include each local ambulance service and fire department, but recently they were able to donate money toward a defibrillator, which is lifesaving in a rural community such as Blairstown.