A parade filled with champions marked the beginning of this year's 76th All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron Monday afternoon.
"It's a good way for a family to be together," said Dwaine Roy of New Hampshire. Roy is in Akron supporting his son Jacob in this week's All-American Soap Box Derby.
From the U.S. to New Zealand, champions moved through the streets of Downtown Akron to mark the beginning of a busy week. It's all leading up to the week of events including technical inspections, weigh-ins and trial runs on the famous 989-foot-long track.
Race officials say more than 400 youngsters and their families will be attending this year's activities.
(All-American Soap Box Derby) Saturday, July 27 - Opening ceremonies at Derby Downs begin at 8:00 a.m. and racing begins at 8:30 a.m. Champions of the 76th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby will be determined by 4:00 p.m.
Boys and girls compete in three divisions. They are the novice Stock Car division, which features the smallest, simplest ready-to-assemble kits purchased from All-American Derby headquarters; the Super Stock division, whose cars are similar, but larger to accommodate larger youngsters, and the Masters division, featuring the traditional, more sophisticated cars.
The youngsters have earned the right to race in the championship finals by winning the local Soap Box Derby race in their home communities or by accumulating points in rally competition held around the United States since last August. Rounds of single-elimination heats will lead to new champions in each of the racing divisions.
They are competing in their gravity-powered race cars for a share of $30,000 in scholarship awards. The National Super Kids Classic, a race for special needs children, will take place at Derby Downs on Friday, July 26, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Additional information is available at www.aasbd.org, where a live webcast will enable race fans to follow the race day action on Saturday, July 27.