POTTSTOWN — A popular community tradition is celebrating a quarter-century in Pottstown this year.

The Pottstown Soap Box Derby returns to Wilson Street Saturday for the 25th consecutive year. 

The Soap Box Derby is a youth racing program that has run nationally since 1934, according to the Soap Box Derby website.

The Pottstown Soap Box Derby is sponsored by the Pottstown AMBUCS and first began in 1994.

Drivers are paired up by a random draw and then race against each other. Drivers are timed as they race and the difference in time gets them through on the winner side.

After a driver loses once, they get put over to the consolation side. Drivers have to lose twice to be eliminated and all kids are guaranteed at least four runs down the hill.

Divisions include stock, superstock and masters and are divided up according to age. Participants range in age from seven to 21.

In the end, three drivers are sent out to the national competition in Akron, Ohio. The three drivers from the Stock, Superstock and Masters divisions represent Pottstown in the race there.

The race is not only an intense competition, but also serves as a means for community members to spend time together as they cheer on their favorite drivers. In some cases, the races have become a family tradition with kids working on cars alongside parents and grandparents who also competed in other Soapbox Derby races.

The race takes place on the third Saturday in June every year and leads into the Fourth of July fun that follows.

Racing will take place throughout the day Saturday with the final heat at 4 p.m., after which the winners will be announced and awarded trophies

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