Now normally I talk about ghosts, UFOs, strange creatures and the like here on Weird Fresno but sometimes I like to delve into the historical side of Fresno and not just the normal stuff everyone knows about. Did you know that Fresno has a history of roller derby bouts (not matches) that dates back way before the current groups that are in Fresno today?
The sport of roller derby has been around for 76 years now and in fact the sport just celebrated it's anniversary on August 13. I was talking with NOTown's very own KarmaKaze the other day and she was telling me that she heard that back in the 1950's the Los Angeles Thunderbirds would meet the Bay City Bombers in the middle at the Fresno Fairgrounds and have a bout. Still trying to dig up some more information on this, but I love the fact that two teams meet in the middle to do battle. Must have been epic.
Fast forward to the 2000's and now Fresno has several roller derby teams of its own and probably the best known one is the NOtown Roller Derby team and as luck would have it they are having a bout this Saturday, August 27 against the Mendo Mayhem at the Fresno Fairgrounds. I've been to several bouts before and theses girls seriously kick some major ass. I remember the first bout I went to, one of the jammers (the one who scores the points), Hari Kari, fell and received a concussion. They had to take her to the hospital, but she was back at the after game party. Now that's hard core. These girls take play on concrete and take some spills that would make most men cry and want their mother. But they just get back up like it's nothing. You have to respect that.
Tickets for the bout are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. You can purchase tickets at SBI Boardshop, Twee Boutique, Swiggs, and online at www.NOtownRollerDerby.com. Parking is free at the fairgrounds and doors open at 5:30 and the bout starts at 7:00. I'd recommend getting their early to get a good seat. If you are lucky you can sit on the floor on the edge of the track and get a great view of the girls as they skate by. I definitely recommend going if you haven't been before, it's a blast and it's something cool that this town can get behind. And when tickets are cheaper than going to the movies, you really have no reason not to go.