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Annual soapbox race rolls into Montague on Sunday morning

Recorder/Paul Franz
Joe Landry of Montague sits in one of the soapbox cars that he has made or helped make.

Recorder/Paul Franz Joe Landry of Montague sits in one of the soapbox cars that he has made or helped make.

TURNERS FALLS — It’s too late to sign up as a driver if you haven’t yet, but it’s not too late to watch the Montague Soapbox Races.

The annual race returns for a fourth year this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. bringing colorful competition to the First Street hill and food and drink to Unity Park.

“The racers are excited to experience the thrill of changing lanes and competing for the inside track this year,” said race director and founder Michael “Mik” Muller.

The roadway curves from the top of the hill to Unity Park and while racers have previously run in pairs, they have not been permitted to change lanes.

The carts will also be hauled up the hill continually, providing for a faster event and lots of visual interest, according to organizers.

Racers will again be divided into three divisions: kids (8 to 12); teens (13 to 19), and adult. Trophies will be awarded to the fastest three carts in each division, with additional trophies custom-made by local artisans to be awarded based on style.

The field numbers 35, with eight in the kids division, four in the teen division and 24 in the adult class.

The races are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. and last into the afternoon.

Spectators in Unity Park are shielded from errant carts by a wall of hay bales, behind which can be found food vendors and a beer tent run by Lefty’s Brewing Co.

The race will be cablecast live by Montague Community Television, channel 17, as well as streamed online.

Visit the official derby website for sponsor and vendor information or directions to the park, between First and Third streets in downtown Turners Falls.

montaguesoapboxderby.com

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