2020 All-American Soap Box Derby Cancelled

May 28, 2020

The International Soap Box Derby® (ISBD) organization has announced that it is cancelling the 83rd running of the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby in an abundance of caution for the health of the racers, their families, volunteers, staff and spectators during the COVID-19 health emergency. The event was scheduled to be held on Saturday, July 25, at Derby Downs in Akron.

“It was an extremely difficult decision to cancel this year’s event, and race organizers did not take the responsibility lightly,” said FirstEnergy’s Mark Mroczynski, vice president, Construction & Design Services, and chair of the Soap Box Derby Board of Directors. “The last time no Soap Box Derby was held in Akron was during World War II when there was a four-year hiatus from 1942 through 1945.”

Every year, the derby welcomes more than 400 aspiring racers to compete in their gravity-powered cars at the world championship races in Akron. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, it was determined that safe social distancing practices could not be maintained during the various activities that take place during race week. Another concern was the large number of people traveling to Akron from other parts of the country and the world.

Although this year’s event has been cancelled, the ISBD has already started making preparations for the 2021 Soap Box Derby. And, FirstEnergy plans to continue its involvement, announcing that it will honor its five-year commitment to support the event financially. This year’s race was to be the first year of the renewed sponsorship.

According to FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones, “We’re committed to our ongoing partnership with the derby through this difficult time and look forward to watching cars going down the track again when the timing is appropriate to reschedule this iconic event.”

More information about the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby can be found at www.soapboxderby.org​*.​

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