By Terry Ward
West Columbia’s 3rd Annual Kinetic Derby Day is set for Saturday, April 23, and a practice date has been set.
“The anticipation level is at a high point for the return of Kinetic Derby Day,” said West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles. “I’m excited and looking forward to it. So many people line the streets for this unique festival. In a very short time Kinetic Derby Day has become a wonderful event. It is one of the best days we have here in West Columbia. And it’s not too late, there’s still time to register and build a derby car.”
On Saturday, Feb. 5, there will be a Test Run Day for Kinetic Derby Day. If you are entering a soap box car in the derby you will have the opportunity to practice racing and testing out your cars. The test run day begins from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Skateboarders are also invited to “Bomb the Hill” from 9:30 a.m. until 10 a.m.
The practice run will take place from N. Witt Street to Leaphart Street. The road will be closed at 8 a.m. Skateboarders should arrive by 9 a.m. and meet at the Brookland United Methodist Church parking lot. Helmets, knee and elbow pads, and closed-toe shoes are required.
Miles, a skateboard enthusiast, encourages skateboarders to come out to “Bomb the Hill.”
“I grew up riding a skateboard,” Miles said. “I still have one and I ride it. I encourage youth to get out and try skateboarding. It fosters creativity and many other positive traits, and skateboarding is a great recreational activity for individuals to participate in.”
The practice will build anticipation for Kinetic Derby Day. The very popular outdoor get together is back after a two-year hiatus that was necessary because of the COVID pandemic.
“It’s my favorite event. Every part of Kinetic Derby Day is so much fun,” said Hayley Bowers, president of the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce. “There’s just so much to see and so many people. It’s great and it’s such a good event for local businesses.”
On the Saturday of Kinetic Derby Day the streets of West Columbia will be filled with art, soapbox racing, and an obstacle course with thousands of people coming together. The event spurs competition, and family fun. It involves collaboration from teams that build unusual vehicles and awe-inspiring art installations. The event is intended to inspire creative thinkers and help them develop problem-solving skills to construct the ideas they imagine.
The day begins with soapbox cars racing down the massive hill on Meeting Street in adult and children divisions. After the traditional side-by-side soapbox race ends at noon, there will be an obstacle course competition on Meeting Street for more intense soapbox racing. Awards will be presented for the best art car, the fastest car, and the best wipeout
And this year, Kinetic Derby Day will be a little different. At the corner of Meeting Street and State Street, there will be a Ferris wheel. On State Street, there will be a mini STEAM festival with interactive science projects.
A press release from the City West Columbia states that the mission of Kinetic Derby Day is to inspire problem solving, build community pride, and showcase the growing West Columbia community that is a prime location for economic investment.