Town gears up for Labor Day Derby

August 25, 2014

Derby_for website

Kids all over Clayton are revving up for 11th Annual Labor Day Derby and Car Show, which will race through downtown this Saturday, August 30.
Children ages 7 to 14 can build and drive soap box derby cars, speeding down a ramp along Main Street for a chance to win a trophy. More than 250 racers are expected to take the challenge, cheered on by a crowd of more than 1,500 family and friends in what has become one of Clayton’s most popular family events.
Soap box derby races can be traced back to as early as the first automobile races when local kids took to building their own cars out of orange crates, sheet tin and baby-buggy wheels. In 1914 the motion picture “Kid Auto Races at Venice” starring Charlie Chaplin was shown in cinemas. During the All American Soapbox Derby’s heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, as many as 70,000 people would gather in Akron, Ohio, every August to eat snow cones and cheer for hundreds of youthful racers.
The kids will start on the ramp at the east end of Main Street, where gravity launches the cars and momentum propels them down the race course. The street is lined with bales of hay, which comes in handy when a driver veers off course.
This year, the derby will be running concurrently with the Classic Car Show. Nearly 300 cars will be shown and judged for Custom Design, Restored, Retros, Foreign, Muscle and Rods, from vintage 1900s to 2014. The Car Show is free to enter and tee-shirts and goody bags will be given to the first 300 entrants.
This annual Labor Day weekend event is presented by Clayton Community Church and began as the brainchild of Pastor Shawn Robinson after experiencing a similar event in Southern California.
There will also be jump houses, face painting, music, games and refreshments. Kids are encouraged to register for the race in advance at but there will be a limited amount of spots available for walk-up registrations.

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