MANSFIELD -- Families can work together building soap box derby cars on May 19 at the Richland County Fairgrounds during the traditional Builder's Day event.
The North Central Ohio Soap Box Derby first took place in Mansfield in 1936, according to Ruth Kinsey, a board member of the Mansfield Soap Box Derby.
Famed race track owner Les Griebling was one of the event's earliest winners, and went on to fame in world racing circles.
The local derby is divided into two divisions, Stock and Super Stock. The winners of those two divisions advance to Akron for the world championship. Mansfield's first and only All-American Soap Box Derby winner was Dean Lutton, who won the 1993 event in Akron.
Families will learn how to build cars on May 19 to race them in the derby, which takes place in Downtown Mansfield on June 22.
Kinsey noted there are derby cars available for those children who want to compete in the race. Racers, ages 7 to 18, will be able to test drive their cars on June 9 during the Trial Run to get used to their vehicles.
"I like to see the interaction between families," Kinsey said. "Often, dads say that it's their favorite time -- working with their children.
The two winners of the Mansfield Soap Box Derby automatically qualify to go to the All-American in Akron, she said.
"Anyone is invited to come out and see what the derby is all about. Racers need to be ages 7-18 and live in Richland, Ashland, Crawford, Huron, Knox, Morrow or Marion County. Prospective racers should contact Brian Smith 419-522-9530 for more information."