JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Staring down a hill that creates legends and losers, mortal men (and women) strap themselves into homemade, wheeled boxes of speed and suspense.
These brave, daring — and sometimes reckless — souls willingly place themselves in positions where only triumph or shame await them at the finish line.
OK, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but it is fun for both participants and spectators.
The fourth annual Marble Falls Soapbox Classic is June 14-16 on Main and Third streets.
“We’re always pretty excited this time of year to watch the community come together and help produce this event,” said Shannon Heep, executive director of the National Adult Soapbox Derby Association.
Heep said 44 cars are registered for this year’s derby.
One of the biggest changes to the racing won’t be to the rules or regulations, but to the schedule.
“The biggest change will be racing until midnight (June 14),” she said.
After the Show-n-Shine & Parade at 6 p.m. and the opening ceremonies, racing begins at 7 p.m. and will go late into the night. KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune will be doing a live broadcast 5-7 p.m. during Show-n-Shine.
The annual dance isn’t going away; it was moved to Saturday night.
“One thing we learned about Friday night is people are very excited to see the cars,” Heep said.
The dance June 15 will feature Beto and the Fairlanes beginning at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free.
The second Derby Hat Contest also coincides with the derby. This year’s hat contest is June 15 and has two categories: traditional and outrageous.
Of course, the racing is the main draw, with it culminating during the Sunday finals.
The speed division crowns the champion car that starts from the gate and is the fastest in a straight downhill race.
“There’s also the Jamaican division, which is completely opposite,” Heep said. “Cars have to make turns, and there can be more than one person in the car.”
Instead of a ramp start, cars in the Jamaican division use a push start.
The finals are scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. June 16.
Heep said limited bleacher seating is available, however lawn chairs and small shade tents are welcome on the Third Street track.
For more on the derby, visit www.adultsoapboxderby.com