Kids who are interested in soap box derby will have a hands-on opportunity to learn more Saturday in Ambridge.
Western Pennsylvania Soap Box Derby is hosting a free "Fun Run" to give children ages 7 to 17 a chance to ride a real soap box derby car and gather information about racing.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 14th Street at Duss Avenue. Cars will race down 14th toward Merchant Street.
Because the event is for fun, Trecha said they won't be doing any timing. Organizers with the volunteer group are also providing the cars and helmets, he said.
Anyone interested can purchase a kit car from the national headquarters in Akron, Ohio. Trecha said cars take anywhere from five to 12 hours to assemble.
That's plenty enough time to join the local qualifier June 7 in Ambridge. Ambridge is one of a couple hundred cities in the world that host qualifying races. Winners travel to Akron in July to compete in the All-American Soap Box Derby with racers from all over the country.
Trecha said races are also held in the tri-state area prior to the local qualifier, giving kids a chance to practice against other youth. The club also has a few cars available for children who don't have the resources.
Trecha said Ambridge held soap box derby races in the 1950s, when cars raced down Eighth Street. By the 1970s, the races ended and were not held in Ambridge for a few decades.
"A group of local guys brought it back in 2009," Trecha said.
Up until six years ago, the Western PA Soap Box Derby club raced in New Castle. Tom Patrician, former president of the Ambridge Area Chamber of Commerce, invited the group to come and revive the event here.
Trecha said the Ambridge-based Polish Falcons of America also has been a big supporter and sponsor of the club.
"We have a lot more support here and a larger group," he said.
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