Even though these adolescents and teenagers don’t have their drivers licenses, it doesn’t stop them from racing in the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron each year. The annual event held in July is considered to be the world championship for the sport. The first Soap Box Derby championship was held in 1934 in Dayton however was moved to Akron in 1935 because of the city’s hilly terrain and the promise to build a permanent track site. The race gained extreme popularity during the 1950′s and 1960′s when the event attracted 70,000 – 100,000 spectators. The race has remained in Akron since 1935. The current 989-foot long , 3-lane track starts near the top of George Washington Boulevard and finishes on the runway of the Akron Fulton International Airport. On the track, racers can reach speeds close to 35 mph. The competition is open to both boys and girls ages 8-17. The All-American Soap Box Derby draws more than 550 participants from over 40 U.S. states and international countries such as Canada, Germany, Japan, and New Zealand. Winners receive scholarships, trophies, and various pieces of merchandise.
Photo via: Businessclimate.com