Sunday Is Race Day

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Tristan Remkus and Sage Witty facing off during last year's race. Photo by Michael Heller.
Tristan Remkus and Sage Witty facing off during last year’s race. Photo by Michael Heller.

A bit of Americana returns to Sag Harbor this Sunday for the the third annual running of the Soap Box Derby. The festivities begin at 1 p.m. with a parade down Main Street,  with the Derby King and Queen and the competitors homemade—and often stylishly customized—racecars on display.

From Main Street, the parade makes its way to High Street for the opening ceremonies and races themselves.

This year’s derby is dedicated to the memory of Ralph J. Ficorelli Sr., the former chaplain and two-term commander of Sag Harbor’s Chelberg-Battle American Legion Post 388. The Sag Harbor native and veteran of the United States Army died in April.

More than 40 racers, most in the Mustangs division, made up of younger scouts driving cars made from uniform kits and with a weigh limit of 150 pounds, are expected to compete. Another 13 drivers have signed up for the Thunder Road division, which is for older kids who want more of a say in their designs.

The derby was resurrected by Laurie Barone Schaefer, a Sag Harbor Cub Scout leader, who was inspired to bring back the tradition afer seeing old photos from a race day in the 1950s.

Cars are impounded Saturday afternoon before the big race, and a team of judges, led this year by Sag Harbor Mayor-elect Sandra Schroeder, will judge them for a number of special awards that will be announced on Sunday.

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