Jun. 9—ANDERSON — The Anderson Soap Box Derby is coming back for its third year following a two-year pandemic shutdown.
Weather-permitting, this all-day event will take place Saturday at Derby Downs, located off of Madison Avenue near the White River. It is slated to begin around 10 a.m.
Races will occur in two divisions. The first, the Stopcar division, is for racers between the ages of 7 to 13. The second, the Super Stopcar division, is for racers between the ages of 9 to 18 if the child can fit in the car.
Joe Allred, the Anderson Race Director, said he wants children to have hands-on activities and avoid excessive electronic usage.
"It's a good learning experience for children. They can work on a car and make it go faster," Allred said. "It's one of those sports where you can put a little in it and might not get a lot out, but if you put a lot into it, good things can happen."
One of those 'good things,' according to Allred, is advancing past the local races. He said the two racers who win the divisions from Saturday's event will be selected to travel to Akron, Ohio, and represent Anderson in the national races, where the town has a history of winners.
"Anderson has quite a few world champions over there, so it's very possible." he said.
The event will feature anywhere between 30 to 40 cars and children will be taken through a workshop to learn how to work on them. Terry Taylor, president of the Indiana Recreation Sports and Entertainment Corporation (IRSEC), said workshops like these are valuable experiences.
"A lot of these kids have never used screwdrivers, have never used wrenches or any tools before," he said. "The workshop gives them the opportunity to learn how to work on cars and get them ready for the race."
Other than the DIY training, Taylor is excited to bring something positive into Anderson.
"It supports the youth of Anderson," he said of the event. "If you look at all the things that are negative going on in the city, this is something positive. When these kids see people in the park supporting their activities, it's nothing but positive in their minds."
Taylor thanked Mayor Thomas J. Broderick, Jr. and the city of Anderson for their support in helping bring the event back. Organizers are looking for volunteers and still have cars left for children looking to compete. Anyone can come to watch or race for free.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Allred at 765-621-8021.