Two competitors get ready for the start at an All-American Soap Box Derby race. Photo submitted

Main Cruise hosts Soap Box Derby

Just when you thought those shiny old behemoths of Detroit’s heavy metal glory days of yesteryear were just about the niftiest part of the 25th annual Main Cruise — sponsored by the Lassen County Chamber of Commerce and the city of Susanville — an exciting new event takes place on Nevada Street during the cruise — an officially sanctioned All- American Soap Box Derby.

The Soap Box Derby began in 1933 during The Great Depression in Dayton, Ohio when newsman Myron Scott organized a race for 362 children racing their homemade vehicles.

Today, the International Soap Box Derby, Inc. serves as the official sanctioning body of the races, and last year more than 6,000 boys and girls participated in about 600 races worldwide. Patti Hagata, the chamber’s executive director, said the Silicon Valley Soap Box Derby organization will help with the event, providing items such as starting ramps and a timing machine.

On Friday evening, June 23, six Soap Box Derby cars will be available for local children to take rides on N. Gay Street. There is a small fee and parents will need to sign a release from available from the Historic Uptown Susanville Association. There is no charge to watch the races on Saturday, June 24, on Nevada Street. The double elimination-style races begin at 8 a.m. and continue until about 6 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony.

Hagata said the chamber hopes the event will draw enough public support to one day become is own standalone event. The chamber also hosts a Soap Box Derby Car Build Clinic from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 10 at 1516 Main Street. Registration by phone required.

The Main Cruise will be held Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24. To register or for more information, call 257-4323.