WOODSTOCK – The reason Cody DeLano likes the demolition derby is simple, really.
"I just like watching cars get smashed up," said DeLano, watching the action through a chain-link fence Sunday evening.
He's not alone. They came out in droves Sunday for the demolition derby, the annual car-smashing event that effectively puts a cap on the McHenry County Fair.
Fair goers enjoyed more pitch-perfect conditions Sunday. A cloud cover moved in Sunday evening as the engines roared, but it never brought rain. The weather had organizers sure that attendance would be up once the numbers are tallied early this week.
"Attendance has been extremely high because of the weather," Fair Treasurer Tom Linneman said.
Vendors agreed. Several remarked that their week had exceeded expectations and topped sales from last year.
The Knights of Columbus corn stand – a joint effort by the organization's Woodstock and McHenry chapters – was expecting to run out of corn by about 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
"We had really good corn sales," said Corey Stohlquist, the corn booth chairman for the Woodstock chapter. "Definitely, because of the good weather, we did better than last year."
Steve Briggs, who operates several inflatable lemonade stands at the fair, had a similar issue. He ran out of his product Sunday evening.
But it's a good problem to have, he added. He remembered a rainy Saturday hurting sales a year ago.
"It was a good week," he said.
Away from the demolition derby Sunday evening, families made their way through the carnival rides or camped out on picnic tables to eat their fair favorites.
Addison Mass, 9 and Taylor Hagen, 12, were among the kids soaking in the last few hours of fair time before the rides were taken down and packed up.
The two friends were beaming as they exited a ride, but it's not Mass' favorite part of the fair:
"The animals," she said.