Sunnyside Soapbox Derby
On July 4th, 2001, 39 racers braved triple-digit temperatures to compete for cash in the 3rd annual Soapbox Derby at Sunnyside’s Central Park. Adults competed for a $500 first prize. Second place received $150 and third $50. Kids were divided into three classes based on their speeds during time trials. First place in each class received a $100 savings bond. Second and Third each received a $50 bond. Entry fees were $10 for kids and $25 for adults. Each participant was given a free t-shirt upon registration. In all, 39 racers competed.
The first Sunnyside Soapbox Derby was started by the Lions Club and VFW Post 3482 in conjunction with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce. This year’s event was put on by the Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyside Parks and Recreation. Many local businesses and organizations also sponsored the event.
A celebration in the park helped spectators and competitors pass the time between the time trials at 11:00 am and the opening ceremonies, which started at noon. Included in the events were a hula hoop contest in which contestants (mostly little kids) competed to see who could keep the hoop going the longest. Winners were awarded movie theater gift certificates. There was also a raffle for a 25" color television. Raffle tickets were sold at the food tent (sponsored by the VFW) for $1 each.
Plenty of trees and covered tents combined with the cold beverages being sold at two refreshment tents helped everyone to stay cool on a very hot day. Races began at about 12:30 and ran well into the afternoon. Aside from the Kids and Adult divisions, there was also a Corporate challenge in which soapbox cars sponsored by local businesses competed against each other. There was also a challenge between the mayors of Sunnyside, Prosser, and Grandview.
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