OSAWATOMIE — Spectators enjoyed taking photos and videos of Soap Box Derby racers as they drove their cars down Main Street on Saturday, June 4, during the third annual Tornado Alley Rally in Osawatomie.
Though the event featured fewer drivers this year, the field of 17 competitors consisted mostly of Osawatomie youngsters who were between the ages of 10 and 12 years old.
Osawatomie business owner and rally organizer Hitomi Lamirande said she was glad most of the drivers were students at Trojan Elementary or Osawatomie Middle School.
“This gave the local kids a chance to participate, and that’s what we want,” Lamirande said as she stood near the starting line at 12th and Main streets Saturday morning. “This is the first time for most of them.”
The rally kicked off with the traditional race between the police chief and the mayor. Police Chief David Stuteville was looking to defend his title, but Mayor Nick Hampson was up for the challenge.
“There’s a new mayor in town,” Lamirande announced over a megaphone when Hampson crossed the finish line first, near the entrance to John Brown Memorial Park.
She would present a traveling plaque to the mayor. The winner, whose name is added to the plaque, gets to hang the plaque in a place of their choosing until the next year’s race.
“I’m thinking about hanging it at the police department so the chief will have to look at it every day,” Hampson said, grinning. “I’m not sure yet.”
The Osawatomie rally is the only Soap Box Derby race in Kansas.