2nd annual Soapbox Derby was a smash!

At Cave Junction’s second annual Soap Box Derby Saturday, July 1, Main Street Cave Junction member Laura Mancuso (top left) waves the start flag for the derby cars driven by Steve for “The Suicide” and Dylan for “Up in Flames.” Maddie with “Little Red” placed first in the youth division (bottom left) and Justin in “Thunder Cougar Falcon Bird” placed first overall.

It was Illinois Valley High School Alumni Weekend and the city of Cave Junction was buzzing with activity Saturday, July 1, especially on top of the hill at Schumacher St. The second annual Cave Junction Soapbox Derby, a fundraiser for the nonprofit Main Street Cave Junction, entertained a good-sized crowd, with handmade, creative carts with recycled parts.
Although there were only five (almost six but the car by Roscoe Grimes broke an axle) cars entered in the derby, the spirit of the drivers and crowd made it a very enjoyable event.
There were two heats, one in which carts were propelled only by feet, and another run which used push poles at the start from helpers. The car called Suicide, which fortunately had a parachute, crashed into the straw bales on the side of the road each time it rolled down the hill. Two of the drivers crashed and had scrapes and possibly future bruises, but thankfully no one was seriously injured.
The crowd cheered when event coordinator and MSCJ President Amy Lusson would tow the derby cars back up the hill with her truck. Also, with a nice hometown gesture, the first-place trophy was handmade by a local woman named Penny, who enjoyed last year’s derby and was inspired to make a nice-looking trophy. Lusson reported, “Next year we would like to have a Soapbox Derby building workshop before the event in hopes of getting more participants, and we would also like to invite the shop class at Illinois Valley High School to be involved.”
The winners were as follows: First place went to Justin with Thunder Cougar Falcon Bird with 24 seconds; second place Jason with Brake Fast in Bed with 30 seconds; and youth first place went to Maddie for Little Red with 44 seconds. Roscoe got a participation award for giving his best effort for his orange Push Pop.
The Main Street Cave Junction board would like to thank their sponsors that included the Illinois Valley News, Mark Dillinger from E Clampus Vitus and Wild Herb Apothecary. And a big thank you to the Illinois Valley Fire District for being in attendance in case they were needed for first aid.
It was so much fun, the organizing team wants to do it again, so if you enjoyed this year’s event or missed it, stay tuned for next year’s Soapbox Derby at the beginning of July 2024.