Good old fashioned speed thrills in modern times embarked upon Historic Folsom this past weekend as young racers converge on Sutter Street for the return of the annual All American Folsom Soap Derby.
Competitors for this event travel from all over, including as far away as Washington, Utah m, Nevada, Arizona and Los Angeles as well as a large contingent of entries from the Bay Area. Saturday even saw one entrant who travelled from New Hampshire to compete.
Multiple divisions by age and weight competes in double eliminations Saturday and will conclude their competition on Sunday.
The starting line for the event is just west of Wool Street in front of Dorothea’s Shoppe, with the finish line in front of Central Valley Community Bank.
The Folsom Soap Box Derby began in 2018 as the brainchild of local residents Karen Holmes, a member of the Folsom Historic District Association Board, and Mike McKernan.
From there, the rest is history as the duo put their love of the sport to work and brought it to town with a phone call to the American Soap Box Derby Association in Akron, Ohio. From there, Folsom became connected to the nearest derby chapter in Silicon Valley who has embraced having Folsom on their traveling schedule each year thereafter.
This year the event hosts the most entries from different states than it had seen in the past, as well as one of the largest turnouts for spectators who lined Sutter Street to cheer the young racers.
Prior to the sanctioned derby coming to town, the last time a soap box derby took place in Folsom was in the 1950s when competition took place on E. Natoma Street. Participants back then reportedly traveled down the hill toward the entry to Folsom Prison and City Hall. Additional races historically took place in Orangevale and near the grounds of Aerojet as well.
“We have had an amazing turnout this year already,” said Holmes. “The quality of the racers coming in for this race is pretty impressive. We have a bigger crowd from Utah and Nevada this year, we have locals that went to the championships, we have many that are new, many that are returning and that’s great to see. “
Below photos by Bill Sullivan. See more photos BY CLICKING HERE