Soap Box Derby Gets Final OK

Posted April 30, 2004 at 2:26pm

Aspiring young builders and racers were given a green light last week when the House and Senate passed resolutions to allow the 63rd annual Greater Washington Soap Box Derby to take place on the Capitol grounds.

The event, scheduled to take place June 19 and expected to draw some 70 young competitors from around the area, will take place along the stretch of Constitution Avenue between Delaware Avenue Northeast and Third Street Northwest. Winners at three levels of the local race will go on to compete in the National Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio.

The House and Senate resolutions authorize the Architect of the Capitol, the Capitol Police Board and the Greater Washington Soap Box Derby Association to negotiate the necessary requirements to hold the race at the Capitol.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who for the past 12 years has sponsored the resolution that has opened the derby to the Capitol grounds, said, “this event has been called ‘the greatest amateur racing event in the world.’ This is a wonderful opportunity for our children from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to venture into the world of science while experiencing the spirit of competition.”

— John McArdle