Hazzard County Stunt Show headlines fair

MARIETTA – Characters from the popular 1970s television show “The Dukes of Hazzard” returned to action Monday night at the Northeast Ohio Dukes Hazzard County Stunt Show at the Washington County Fair Monday night.

“Bo” and “Luke Duke,” driving General Lee, the cousins’ infamous orange-and-black 1969 Dodge Charger, gave Boss Hogg and Deputy Enos the chase of their lives during the two-hour event that included airborne vehicles crashing onto the track at the fairgrounds grandstand.

“We’ve been watching the television series since it came out in the 1970s and I still watch it. I really like Daisy Duke,” said Shawn Thomas, 45, of Marietta.

Tara Hopkins, 42, also of Marietta, agreed.

“I just always liked the Duke boys,” she said.

Stephanie Henderhan of Marietta watched the show with her husband.

“We grew up with the Dukes on TV,” she said. “But this is the first time we’ve seen the stunt show.”

Matt Miller and Bill Bartholomew, both of Cortland, Ohio, have been photographing the stunt show with still and video cameras since it began in 2007.

“We started off just doing jump stunts with the General Lee, and later we wrote a script to make the show like an episode of the television series,” Miller said. “We do the show all over Ohio. Last year we did four shows, and this year we’re doing two.”

Bartholomew said each year’s show takes three to four months to prepare.

“But the crowds always love it,” he said. “And it’s always a good, clean family show.”

The Hazzard County Stunt Show was founded by Raymond Kohn, one of the show’s main stunt drivers who wows the crowd with a grand finale jump in General Lee over several cars.

“It takes a whole crew of about 25 to 30 people to put on this show,” he said. “That includes actors, stunt men and a track crew.”

Kohn described a stunt.

“It’s very scary,” he said. “For a while I feel weightless, but then it’s like someone strapped me into a kitchen chair and pushed me out the window.”

Monday was his 17th jump in the General Lee.

Miller said much preparation goes into the show and safety for the drivers is top priority.

“The hair still stands up on the back of my neck during these stunts,” he said.