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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

Mayors Make Soapbox Derby Wager

Monday August 18, 2008

This weekend in Cincinnati, the best Soapbox Derby racers in the Derby City and the Queen City will battle for Soapbox supremacy – and Mayor Jerry Abramson is confident the Kentucky kids will win.

“I’m so certain that the racers representing Louisville will take the checkered flag that I’ve offered Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati 10 trees in the unlikely event that our racers lose,” Abramson said. “But I’m pretty sure Mayor Mallory will be sending a bunch of trees down I-71 to beautify our fair city instead.”

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory brushed off Abramson’s prediction of Derby city dominance. “Mayor Abramson has another think coming if he thinks that his kids have a chance against Cincinnati’s best racers,” Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory said. “We know a thing or two about getting downhill fast in Cincinnati.”

Soapbox derby racing dates back to the 1930s and got its start in Akron, Ohio.

Kids aged 8-17 build simplified cars from kits and race them. The cars have no motor and are instead powered only by gravity – racers are timed as they roll down a track or closed street.

Louisville had four racers qualify for the World Championships, held in Akron, Ohio last month.

The top eight racers from each of three categories of competition will meet the top racers in Cincinnati on Sunday. The races will be held at Ault Park in Cincinnati on Sunday, August 17th at 8:00 am. The winning city will receive 10 trees from the losing city.

“This is really just a friendly wager between two communities with a history of success in an activity that really promotes fair competition, pride in ownership and perseverance in our young people,” Abramson said. “But I’m really looking forward to getting those trees.”