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2022-06-15 10:44:06 By : Ms. Andy Lu

The House passed a resolution on Tuesday allowing the annual Greater Washington Soap Box Derby to take place on Capitol grounds next week.

The concurrent resolution passed the lower chamber by voice vote.

The measure authorizes the Greater Washington Soap Box Derby Association to hold this year’s soap box derby races — which are scheduled for June 18 — on Capitol grounds. It also directs the event to be free of charge and open to the public.

Eligible children are invited to create their own soapbox vehicles then race them. Age eligibility varies by division.

This year will mark the 79th Greater Washington Soap Box Derby, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on the House floor Tuesday. The Democratic leader said it was his 29th year sponsoring the resolution for the event.

The Soap Box Derby has taken place nationally since 1934. Races this year are also being held in Pennsylvania, Virginia and New Jersey, and the world championship will take place in Akron, Ohio. Washington, D.C., however, has not hosted the event since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Hoyer.

In remarks from the House floor, Hoyer said soap box races “have become a staple of the American experience and an important piece of Americana.”

“They teach sportsmanship, engineering, manufacturing and leadership,” he added.

The Democratic leader called the gathering “one of my favorite events of the year.”

“Soapbox Derby brings families together from across the greater Washington Metropolitan Area, encouraging kids and their adult family members or community members to compete in a fun and educational race,” he added.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) on the House floor called the event “a time-honored tradition,” noting that he participated in the program roughly 40 years ago.

He said the event “provides children in the greater Washington area an opportunity to build knowledge and character through fair and honest competition.”

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) also spoke highly of the event on the House floor, calling it “a terrific opportunity for children to appreciate the workmanship necessary to build the vehicles, enjoy the thrill of competition.”

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