COLUMBIA- The Mid Missouri Soap Box Derby took place in downtown Columbia Sunday morning through late afternoon. The derby had to cancel its event in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Thirty-nine racers, ranging in ages from 7 to 18, participated in Sunday's race. This specific derby has deep-roots in Columbia's history, as the race has taken place on-and-off since the 1930s.  

The Mid Missouri Soap Box Derby is part of a national organization from Akron, Ohio, called The All-American Soap Box Derby.

Three winners from the Mid Missouri race will receive an invitation to race at the national Soap Box Derby in Akron, which will take place towards the end of July, according to the race director for the Mid Missouri Soap Box Derby, Evan Schilling.  

After cancelling last summer, event organizers said they were happy they could have the event this year.  

"Families become a racing team, you've got the child in the car, and the parents and guardians as car handlers. And, it's 100% a family sport," Schilling said.  

There are three divisions of cars that vary in weights. The cars are weighted to make it fair for the children's weight and age.

The cars, owned by The Downtown Optimist Club, come to children as kits, and the children learn to adjust them. According to Schilling, a lot of science and engineering goes into this sport. 

Local businesses sponsor the different cars. Sponsors of Sunday's event included Columbia ReadyMix, Boone Quarries, Plaza Tire Service, O'Reilly Auto Parts, as well as others.