The Brantford and District Labour Council (BDLC) hosted its 67th annual Soapbox Derby on Monday, September 4, 2023.
Thirty-four participants, ages 12-years-old and under, came out to be a part of the end of summer race and to get their shot at racing down the Icomm Drive hill.
While several participants were sporting brand new soapbox cars made over the summer, many were riding in cars handed down through the generations.
Michael Carson, father of fourth-place winner Kinslee Carson, said that his daughter was racing in his former childhood soapbox car.
“The first year I raced this car was in 1997,” he said. “In 1998, I actually won first place and the following two years I won second place, so it’s been nostalgic and it’s certainly bringing back some memories. Just seeing her and her brother having fun with a big smile on their faces and trying something new is the best part of it.”
Regardless of the outcome, participants could be seen with smiles from ear to ear as they lined up behind the ramp, raced down the hill and after finishing the race with toonies in hand.
The Brantford Piston Pushers Car Club were also in attendance and brought vintage cars to park alongside the track for residents to appreciate.
Four trophies were awarded to the youngsters, with first place going to 12-year-old Charlotte Gerster, second place to 12-year-old Nathan Mercier, third place to seven-year-old Marshall Alford and fourth place to six-year-old Kinslee Carson.
Cory Judson, President of the BDLC, said that after months of planning, the hard work and the sleepless nights leading up to the day, the event has exceeded their expectations.
“I am absolutely thrilled with this turn out, with the sunshine and with the atmosphere here today. This incredible event that is in a 67th year, would not be possible without every single person here today,” he said. “Whether you just came out to observe, whether you were cooking hot dogs in the tent, or whether you were helping to build a soapbox car with your child, your grandchild or neighbour this summer, this is an outstanding community event, and we are thrilled with the way the day went.”