OSAWATOMIE – The Tornado Alley Rally tested the skills of young Soap Box Derby racers from Osawatomie to Oregon over the weekend.

Spectators lined Osawatomie’s Main Street, from the starting line at 12th and Main to the finish line near the entrance to John Brown Memorial Park, to watch racers from Colorado, Kentucky, Oregon, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas compete in the April 24-25 rally.

Osawatomie business owner and rally organizer Hitomi Lamirande said the two-day event, held in conjunction with the Kansas City Soap Box Derby group and the city of Osawatomie, is the only sanctioned All-American Soap Box Derby race in Kansas.

Osawatomie Police Chief David Stuteville and Mayor Mark Govea kicked off the Tornado Alley Rally early Saturday with a friendly race down the  thoroughfare. The police chief edged out the mayor at the finish line to win the race.

Several youths from Osawatomie and the surrounding area had the chance to compete against the experienced drivers.

It takes a village to put on an All-American Soap Box Derby race. Volunteers from Osawatomie PRIDE, Calling All Girls, Sub Debs, the Osawatomie Fire Department, the Osawatomie Police Department, Miami County Emergency Medical Services and a host of others helped organizers put on the event.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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