The biggest event in northeastern Shelby County returns to its July roots this weekend.
After no event in 2020 and a delayed event in 2021, Derby Days in Morristown kicks off today at 4 p.m. and continues Saturday with the Paul O. Goble Run, a downtown parade, the annual soap box derby race and a free concert.
“We are looking pretty good,” said Thomas Wright, a Derby Days event organizer. “It’s going to be a busy weekend.”
Check-in for the Adult Soap Box Derby race is 5 p.m. today with racing starting at 6 p.m. on North St. in Morristown.
Saturday’s Soap Box Derby Race features local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts racing down the State Road 52 hill into downtown Morristown.
The racing begins following the Derby Days parade at 11 a.m.
Entertainment continues throughout the day and culminates with Andrew Young performing on the main stage at 5 p.m. in front of Morristown High School.
“This is the 74th annual Derby Days weekend and it brings a lot of people back into town that maybe have moved out of town,” said Wright. “It’s a good opportunity for class reunions to happen. We have a car show so a lot of folks coming to town bring their classic cars in. We’ve got all these different events and activities that bring people to town, and we try to keep them in town all day long so we have activities going on throughout the day after the race.
“Then we have a big free concert that night in front of the high school. We are excited to bring everybody out and about in town.”
Saturday’s Derby Days race harkens back to simpler days. Now a unique event, Morristown has crowned a boys champion nearly each year since 1947.
“The racers are all either Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts here at our local troops,” explained Wright. “You have to be a member of one of those two organizations, you have to attend so many of the meetings to qualify to be a racer and then you have to do qualifications.”
Rookie racers had to complete 15 safe passes down the smaller North St. racing hill to qualify for Saturday’s event. Those racers with at least one year of experience had to complete five safe passes.
The North St. hill will be used for tonight’s adult race that features past event winners and parents of current and former racers.
Following the Derby Days parade Saturday along U.S. 52 in Morristown, the racers will ascend to the top of the hill (photo) for what should be fast trips back down to the finish line.
This year’s event features 14 girls and 14 boys with champions crowned through elimination races.
Adilyn Boring was the girls champion in 2021. Carter Bell won the boys race.
This year’s competitors slated for Derby Days racing are:
- Kori Palmer in car No. 22
- Lexi Lacy in No. 9
- Emma Oster in No. 89
- Emelyn Rinzel in No. 11
- Natalie Wright in No. 10
- Zoe Graces in No. 84
- Aubrey Longwell in No. 15
- Madison Richardson in No. 50
- Kynzleigh McKinney in No. 17
- Lilee Barr in No. 2
- Bailey Rinzel in No. 3
- Madilyn Carlton in No. 23
- Loran Austin in No. 6
- Addison Decker in No. 5
- Beckham Walton in No. 1
- Austin Amburgey in No. 9
- Aiden Amburgey in No. 4
- Tysin Chesher in No. 6
- Mayson Sidebottom in No. 19
- Keegan Coombs in No. 99 (2021 runner-up)
- Carter Bell in No. 33 (defending boys champion)
- Alex Anderson in No. 15
- Deacon Dewitt in No. 35
- Jasen Tweedy in No. 3
- Brody Walton in No. 26
- Kambdan McKinney in No. 18
- Aiden Decker in No. 27
- David Ogles in No. 0