AKRON, Ohio — An Akron tradition is getting back on track. The 83rd FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby is returning this summer to Akron.
The derby has been halted only twice in its history dating back to 1934: four years beginning in 1942 and last due to the pandemic.
This year’s theme is “Back on Track” and organizers are preparing to welcome more than 300 local racers to Akron’s Derby Down for pre-race activities beginning Tuesday, July 20.
“We are extremely excited to return to racing at Derby Downs as COVID restrictions have been lifted in Ohio and other states,” said Mark Gerberich, president and chief executive officer. “Our priority always has been the health and safety of our racers and their families, volunteers and staff members. With that in mind, our Race Week schedule will focus on providing participants with opportunities to race on the famous Derby Downs track, while limiting events at other venues
Boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 20 have earned the right to compete in the championship finals in Akron by winning local soap box derby races in their hometowns or by accumulating points in a series of rally competitions held around the U.S. and Canada since last fall.
On July 20, participants will make trial runs down the 989-foot track. Contestants will compete in challenge races on Wednesday and Thursday, July 21 and 22.
Then on Saturday, July 24, a track parade and opening ceremonies kick off at 8 a.m. and the first heat of the 83rd FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby will be held at 8:30 a.m. The championship heats will start at approximately 3 p.m. Racers are competing for a share of #36,00 in college scholarships.
Race day tickets are available for $5. Click here to buy tickets.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.