Third annual Flint Soap Box Debry races into summer

City of Flint sign
City of Flint sign(WNEM TV5)
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:38 AM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - The third annual Flint Soap Box Derby races back into the Vehicle City this summer on Saturday, June 3.

Organizers said this year’s race at the Chevy Commons will emphasize community and collaboration, and celebrate all race participants.

“The Flint Soap Box Derby has a storied legacy in the City of Flint, and we are excited to add another chapter to our impressive history,” said Kevin Cronin, executive director of the Flint Soap Box Derby. “We have had an exceptional series of building workshops preparing for race day, and we are thrilled to return to Chevy Commons.”

Flint hosted the first Soap Box Derby in 1936 on Cadillac Street before moving to Cronin Derby Downs in 1969. Soap Box Racing returned to Flint in 2019 after a multi-decade absence, and the annual race is now part of a larger program that provides hands-on STEM learning.

“This is such a great event for the City of Flint,” said Courtney Martin, race director. “The winner gets to represent the Greater Flint Area this July at the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships in Akron, Ohio.”

There will be one race in the All-American Soap Box Derby’s Super Stock Division. This year’s participants include Freeman Elementary, Beecher High School, St. John Vianney School, Swartz Creek Middle School, Springview Elementary School, McGrath Elementary School, Grand Blanc East Middle School Robotics Team, and Keep Genesee County Beautiful.

The winner will qualify for the 85th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby Race Week, which will be held July 16-22 in Akron, Ohio.

To prepare for the race, participants took part in a series of building workshops on Saturdays throughout April and May.

“It’s important that our events set the foundation for future careers in STEM in a highly engaging environment. This is most evident during our building workshops, which is a feature unique to our program. We not only want to cultivate skills and develop interests for future careers, we also want to create new friendships, foster a sense of community, and build something much bigger than ourselves,” Cronin said.

The Flint Soap Box Derby runs from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.