For any Boy Scout, one of the highlights of the year is the legendary Pinewood Derby. There is nothing more thrilling than watching your tiny wooden hot-rod blaze down the track against your pack mates.
Since its inception in 1953, the derby has been a test of both engineering and artistic skills (my own car won a ribbon for “Sportiest Car” 35 years ago — thanks, Mom).
Parents often help with the difficult work, like using an electric saw to shape the wood block into something sleek and aerodynamic, while the Scout paints it and makes it look awesome. Then on race day, the parents can experience victory vicariously through their children.
Southbound Brewing Co. is offering everyone, of all ages, an opportunity to experience the excitement of building and racing wooden race cars at their second Pinewood Derby on June 8.
“It’s something different that Savannah doesn’t offer and it’s for all ages,” says Natalie Alexander, taproom and events manager at Southbound. “Parents tend to work hard on their Boy Scout’s cars and now they have a good opportunity to do that for themselves, too.”
The entry fee is $20 with a kit and $15 without. Registration is available both online at eventbrite.com and at the brewery. The track will be set up a week in advance for those who want to test out their design. The first-place prize is a $100 gift card to Southbound, a Southbound T-shirt of your choice, a case of beer and “bragging rights."
The last Pinewood Derby in April was a huge success and drew all kinds of contenders.
“We had over 40 participants,” says Alexander. “It’s an all-ages event, so it was fun to see some Boy Scouts and some adults that still had their cars from 20, 30 years ago.”
Even if you don’t have a stake in the race, it’s worth coming to check out all of the different cars, from superhero themes, futuristic designs and classic looks, to just plain weird. Also, Southbound has 20 beers on tap and Chazito’s Latin Cuisine will have a food truck on site.
Because of its immediate popularity, Southbound plans to host many more races in the future.
“We’ll have one every couple months,” says Alexander. “The final one in the winter will be a grand championship where we’ll invite new racers to come, but we’ll have a big championship game and invite back previous winners.”
Great! Now I just need to dig my old pinewood car out of my mom’s garage and see if it can stack up to my 7-year-old son’s “Angry Birds” racer.