More than 40 teams are gearing up and getting ready to race down Magnolia Street this weekend. It's become an annual tradition - the Magnolia Soap Box Derby. Claire Davis spent the afternoon with two teams finishing up their custom built cars.
Brant Freeman knows cabinets, and these days, he knows cabs. "We made the Freeman Cab because we're a cabinet shop. The idea was inspired by a friend of ours who used to work here at the shop with us, and we had a bunch of yellow paint left over and we couldn't decide what to do with it," said Freeman.
He's putting the finishing touches on his soap box car, the one he plans to take down the stretch for the Derby." It's made out of maple. It's all cabinet parts. We've got functioning drawers and doors, and it withstood the kids pretty well last week at the Cherry Blossom Festival, so if it held up to them, I'm pretty confident we're going to make it down the hill," said Freeman.
A classic dashboard, dancing hula girl, side mirrors, and, of course, fuzzy dice give the car some character. "First thing that we wanted to do was make sure that we had a decent steering and braking system. So these are the actual soapbox derby steering and braking parts except for the handle bars which I stole from my son's bicycle," said Freeman.
He's been working on the 80-pound kitchen-on-wheels for more than a month, but he admits, he's a rookie driver. "I will be driving the car for the first time. I didn't want to put anyone else at risk," said Freeman.
But Freeman's got a little competition on his hands. "This will be my sixth year," said Freeman.
Jack Castle builds the racing roadster every year for Centenary United Methodist Church. "It's called the Ghost of Miss Molly, the one that burned. So and then we wanted to put people on it, so we have the mayor, all of Mercer mascots, the Macon Mayhem mascot, the Wesleyan College mascot, and Rabbi Schlesinger," said Castle.
The Soap Box Derby is Saturday, April 9 on Magnolia Street at Washington Park from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The event is free and there will be live music, food trucks, and more.