Soapbox derby returns to Sainte Dorothée

Soapbox derby returns to Sainte Dorothée

By Robert Frank

The Laval soapbox derby association plans to hold its first race of the year in on Gouin street in Sainte Dorthée at 9:30 a.m., July 13.

They feature small homemade cars that run down a hill, relying entirely on gravity for locomotion. Top racers have attained speeds of more than 55 km/h during the under 30-second heats.

The non-profit organization Les Courses de boîtes à savon, which conducted its first race in Chomedey in 2001, tries to foster family-centered activities aimed at Laval youth.

The idea is to get kids aged 7-14 working together with their parents to build a soapbox racing car.

Information on how to participate or volunteer to help is available on Les Courses de boîtes à savon web site at:

Emphasis is placed on making and decorating the homemade vehicles, taking part in the race and having fun, rather than on winning. All participants earn a medal and are eligible for the door prize drawing.

The organization also has a number of soap-box racers and holds a drawing to permit a few lucky youngsters to use the vehicles, free-of-charge. Enquiries can be directed to:

Soapbox derbies originated in the United States a century ago, and were featured in the Charlie Chaplin film Kid Auto Races at Venice in 1914. During the Great Depression, a national competition was organized in the United States, and the homegrown sport has since spread to many other countries.

There is a Canadian soapbox racing association as well as a Quebec counterpart.

Kids take part in a 2012 Laval soapbox derby

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