Rain doesn't damper annual St. Johns Soap Box Derby

ST. JOHNS, MI (WILX) -- Bringing back a little bit of history to St. Johns, after forty-three years, their Soap Box Derby returned.

Soap Box Derby Stock Cars

In the rain, down a slope, and into the hay, Father’s Day this came with a splash.

Jacob and his brother Trevor Harr decided it would be a cool thing to try and being pushed by the grandparents.

“It was fun and it was cold,” Jacob said.

“Yeah I feel really really cold. Wet, but pretty good,” Trevor added.

A wet yet special day to use a race as a tribute to Dad.

“I just want to thank him for all the work he did on the cars and how much he did to help me,” Jameson Halsey said.

The kids and the community each got a taste of the past. Lee Smith remembers the cold and rainy morning he won the last St.Johns Soap Box Derby race in 1976.

“I was 11. I raced one year and one time and won,” Smith laughed.
Now, 43 years later Lee’s happy that on this Father’s Day he can finally pass the torch.

“I got my sons helping and a lot of my friends and family and in a couple years my grandsons will, one of them will be able to race,” Smith said.
Macy and her dad Chris Kowatch made their own legacy, building her car together. At the race, he watched her beat the boys with pride.
“It wasn’t too hard when you follow the instructions,” Macy said.

“ It’s just been a great experience for the whole community when you bring everybody together and the dads and my dad’s here, my father-in-law is here. It’s just a really cool experience.” Chris said.

As for as the material gifts, Macy says she got something special.

“He hasn’t gotten it yet, so I don’t want to spoil it,” Macy said.

Trevor made a special gift as well.

“I gave him a little booklet that I made about how awesome of a dad he is. That’s it so far,” Trevor said.

The derby committee said the event is going to stay. Maybe not on Father’s Day, but they’ve already started making plans for next year.
The winners of this year’s race will go on to Akron, Ohio for the All-American Soap Box Derby in July.

You can find a full list of winners on the derby's Facebook page.

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