This past, pre-4th of July, Sunday, if you were in Sag Harbor, NY you were treated to a very special slice of Americana, thanks to the scouts of Sag Harbor and their supporters from Sag Harbor and villages nearby.
In years past, a soap box derby was traditionally held on High Street in Sag Harbor, where it was once again today, following a parade down Main Street.
The parade was the "Pied Piper", drawing people from shops and their seats in restaurants along the way to come to see what this was all about. The girls and boys of the scout troops of Sag Harbor built over 30 different cars in all different shapes and colors. Some were boxy, some were round, and some were angular. Many were made of wood, some of pressed wood, and one of half a garbage can.
Emily Glass, one of the Most Creative Car Winners in Sag Harbor's Soap Box Derby
Some had spoilers, most had none, and all had brakes. Most were painted with trains, planes, and even stars, and everyone proudly displayed its local sponsors' logos and emblems. It was so evident that this was a community event from top to bottom. From the sponsor's names on the banner high above the finish line to the running boards on some of the flyers.
Charlie Schaefer Winner in his class Sag Harbor Soap Box Derby 2013
On this slightly overcast, humid day, hundreds of people - local, weekenders, and summer-timers - lined High Street to cheer on these scouts, competing whole-heartedly for "the win". Each racer ran two races, and after that would run more depending on their wins. Dozens of races were run in an incredibly well organized system, thanks to Jim Stewart, who kept these racers poised to run the next race as soon as the track was clear. There were no tragic accidents, a few errant cars, and lots of fast (and slow) moving cars "barreling" along High Street.
At the end of the day, children of all sizes, competitors and spectators alike, had a memorable day, and it could be seen in their playful actions between races and during them as well.
We certainly saw the thrill of winning and the agony of defeat.
"Best In Show" Chad Federico in the Sag Harbor Soap Box Derby
We saw determined competitive spirits exalt in victory and grapple with the lessons that must be learned from losing. Friendship, family, comraderie, and community ... this was an incredibly special day and it was not staged by Hollywood or some theatrical group. This was organized by the scouts of a little town on the east end of Long Island called Sag Harbor, a community that supports them, and one incredibly energetic organizer named Laurie. Three cheers to you all, for a day that made lots of memories for so many.
That's not easily done. Thanks for those memories! I sincerely hope you enjoy this slide show of this really fun day.
Photos and Slide Show © 2013 Claudia Ward
Music: Stephen Foster Medley by The President's Own United States Marine Band and Timothy Foley
If you're interested in seeing these pictures on their own, please visit the Sag Harbor Scouts Soap Box Derby Gallery on SmugMug by clicking here. You can purchase the pics as well as the pics on some fun things like a T-Shirts, Tote Bags, or coffee cups. Choose between Prints, Merchandise and Downloads.