Parade Kicks Off All-American Soap Box Derby

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AKRON, Ohio – Hundreds line the streets of Akron for the highly anticipated event of the summer: the All-American Soap Box Derby.

“That’s one of the biggest events around here, been going on for, like, 75 years,” said Tony Ridgeway of Akron.

Fire trucks, local celebrities and contestants filled downtown for a parade to kick-off this weekend’s contest.

“So excited the fire trucks were out and the cars,” said seven-year-old Kira Decker. “I saw a queen a princess and a little kid. Three with crowns.”

In its 75th year, more than 400 children will compete at Derby Downs on Saturday.

Matthew Spory, 11, traveled with his family from Colorado Springs, Colo., to support his 14-year-old brother, Austin.

“Excited to see my brother out there and see him trying, as hard as he can, to win the races and just having fun,” Matthew said. “I helped him build the car, and then at the soap box derby, we help him into the ramp.”

This is Austin’s first year competing in soap box derby races. Matthew doesn’t know what to expect, but is ready to cheer on his big brother.

“I hope that he has fun and he wins, but if he doesn’t win that’s OK,” Matthew said. “I just want him to have fun.”

The All-American Soap Box Derby is at Derby Downs on Saturday, July 21. The opening ceremony is at 8 a.m. Races start at 8:30 a.m.

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