Rotary Club of Meriden, Connecticut
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5K Race

Annual Soap Box Derby in Meriden Attracts New Racers


MERIDEN — Local children participated in the annual Meriden Soap Box Derby, most racing for the first time.

Around 20 drivers learned to set up, test and race soap box cars at Hubbard Park with the help of parents and volunteers. The event is a partnership with the Meriden Rotary, the Beat the Street Community Center and the Meriden Raiders Football League.

Saturday’s event attracted mostly new racers so the track was shorter than in past years, said Beat the Street Executive Director Larry Pelletier.

“With this race we’re trying to bring it back,” Pelletier said. “We’re trying to bring it up to another that more kids (get involved ).”

The event takes a month of preparation, including purchasing cars and assigning drivers. The cars are donated by sponsors from local organizations and businesses.

“It’s a nice collaborative type of event,” Pelletier said. “The whole community gets involved at some level.”

Resident Luis Vasquez said his son Ignacio, 8, likes sports and cars and was excited to try something new. Vasquez is looking forward to attending the event with his son again next year.

“The important thing is to support him in everything,” he said.

Karen Cooper said her son Jacob, 14, has participated for close to five years.

“I wish there was more attention to it because it is a great program and the camaraderie is wonderful ,” Cooper said.

By Jeniece Roman, Record-Journal staff

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