MONROE — As the Green County Fair prepares to return after skipping its 2020 festival, one thing is for certain: Even the entertainment is happy to be back.
“It’s been a while, time to strap up,” said Jake Trickel, a demolition derby competitor from Monroe. “Not being on my hometown track since 2019 has felt like an eternity. It’s nice to have the yearly events back again after the pandemic, making everything feel like it’s getting back to how it was.”
The annual Demolition Derby will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 25 at the Grandstands. All grandstands events are free of charge this year, but there is a cost for pit passes.
“Hopefully everyone can come out and support this long-standing tradition and watch some things get wrecked next weekend,” Trickel said.
Other grandstand events include the grand opening ceremonies and the Green County Bulls & Barrels at 6:30 p.m. on opening night, Wednesday, July 21; Badger State Tractor and Truck Pull at 6:30 p.m. July 22; Southwest Wisconsin ATV/Garden Tractor Puller and Green County Local Truck and Tractor pulls at 6:30 p.m. July 23; Antique Tractor Pull at 8 a.m. July 24, with an 11 a.m. Tug-of-War and 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Lumberjack shows to follow.
Further entertainment includes music in the hospitality tent each day, a children’s pedal pull on Kid’s Day, July 24, and a show by Brew City Wrestling July 25 in Barn 7, the Mayer Transport Show Barn.
Now entering its sixth year running shows at the fair, Brew City Wrestling plans for six matches in all, including a lady’s match and another featuring WWE superstar Hornswoggle, an Oshkosh native.
“He knows where he’s from and where he was brough up and trained. In this business, you know where your roots are,” said Frankie DeFalco, owner of Brew City Wrestling, adding that Hornswoggle is signed on for several shows this summer and fall.
DeFalco, a former AWA and WWE wrestler himself with 42 years in the industry, started BCW 18 years ago. BCW holds shows all around Wisconsin, and DeFalco has a wrestling academy, Thumper’s Den, where he takes in interested newcomers to “show them the ropes.”
“I get about 3-5 emails a day of people who want to train,” DeFalco said. DeFalco said it’s not for everyone, as many don’t follow through to even start training, and others have quit after just one day. For those that continue in the academy, after about three months he and the wrestler will begin discussing their future long-term goals and possible gimmicks.
Wrestlers under DeFalco have found their way to larger, more national companies, like WWE and NXT and eventually the Hall of Fame.
“We’ve got several wrestlers on the WWE and NXT radar today,” DeFalco said.
After the initial COVID-19 lockdown around the state ended in May 2020, DeFalco and his team assembled regularly at the Elk’s Lodge in Waukesha. As the state opened up, BCW began traveling again, bringing live-action wrestling to hungry local fans. He said he has been more than pleased through the years with the spectator size — and energy — at the Green County Fair shows, and he’s excited to get back to Monroe again.
“Fans love to go to shows in places where the big boys don’t show up,” DeFalco said.
BCW is booked for seven dates alone in July, from Watertown and Waterloo, Waukesha, Monroe and a 3-day set at the Door County Fair, which will have eight shows in total from July 30 through Aug. 1. On September 10, BCW will perform at Summerfest.
Further information on Brew City Wrestling, including upcoming shows and tickets, competitors, merchandise and Thumper’s Den Wrestling Academy can be found at www.brewcitywrestling.com.