Now’s the time to get involved in Soap Box Derby

Special to The TelegraphMarch 14, 2014 

How many times have you heard someone talking about Macon and hear, “The city has so much potential”?

I’ve heard it so many times that the phrase wears on me. I’m tired of having potential and I long to hear stories where the “potential” has been converted into “success.” So many times, these stories seem to be just outside our reach like a carnival barker yelling, “Close but no cigar,” in our direction.

What does it take to finally bring the hammer down with enough force to ring the bell?

Passion. And the team members of the annual Magnolia Street Soap Box Derby are full of passion. Each year, a team of volunteers comes together to put on a popular community event where teams build cars and race them down the hill of Magnolia Street by Washington Park in downtown. It’s an event based purely in fun for the city of Macon.

The Soap Box Derby began six years ago as part of College Hill Corridor’s Second Sunday activities. It soon gained a passionate following as crafty individuals and businesses began competing to build vehicles to be the fastest or the coolest.

The event received a grant from the Knight Foundation and some of the passionate fans put the event on their backs and began to carry it forward. Each year brought success with more entries, larger turnout and more sponsors. When the grant from the Knight Foundation came to an end, the event kept going. Its organizers had made the event self sufficient.

This year, the Magnolia Street Soap Box Derby is proud to announce another milestone in its history as it becomes an independent event. The Soap Box Derby will be held Saturday, April 12, which means it will no long be a part of the Second Sunday festivities.

College Hill has given Macon so many great activities during the years and here is one of its own growing up and beginning to blaze its own path. This is something that the Soap Box Derby, as well as College Hill and the Knight Foundation, can point to with pride.

It means their plan is working.

This is also something the city of Macon should be proud of. They couldn’t have made it without all the support from the businesses and the people cheering them on. This year, they are expecting about 2,500 people to show up for the event.

Build a car. Be a sponsor. Cheer for your favorite team.

Why? Because it’s fun to see something like this here in Macon. Go to www.maconderby.com for more details.

Roger Riddle was diagnosed with bathmophobia at a young age. Contact him at roger.riddle@gmail.com.

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