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Manhattan Beach To Celebrate 'Community Pinewood Derby Day'

May 25, 2018 04:35PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Racers, start your engines, and get ready for Manhattan Beach's Community Pinewood Derby Day, a celebration honoring the 65th anniversary of the first Pinewood Derby.

The Community Pinewood Derby will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 28, at the Joslyn Community Center and the new Senior and Scout Community Center.

The Pinewood Derby began in 1953 and was the brainchild of Don Murphy, a Cub Scout leader in Manhattan Beach. Parents and scouts created and shaped simple wooden block cars and raced them against each other on a track. The event became a popular nationwide Cub Scout activity, and has since expanded beyond the scouting community to include all age groups and a variety of different car types.

Monday's Community Pinewood Derby Day will feature a day of racing with multiple tracks for various age groups, along with food and music to celebrate Memorial Day.

Tracks will be set up in the Ocean Banquet Room at the Joslyn Center at 1601 North Valley Drive. The Sunset Room at Josyln Center will be set up as the Auto Repair shop. In addition, there will be vintage materials on display and a historic track set up in the Scout House in between the Joslyn Community Center and the baseball field.

Participants may purchase an official Pinewood Derby Car Kit from the city, from a local craft store, or online. The kit includes a pre-shaped wooden car that can be sanded, painted and/or decorated any way you’d like to customize it. Racers are encouraged to build the car ahead of time, but cars and supplies will be available to purchase on race day.

To race, participants may register online or in person at the Manhattan Beach City Hall in the Parks and Recreation Department. Registration costs $30 if you purchase the car kit, or $20 for an entry fee only. If you purchase the car kit online, bring your receipt to either Live Oak Park Tennis Office or the Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Department to pick up your kit. Registration will be available the day of the event if space permits.

Those who already have Pinewood Derby cars are welcome to bring them and compete. Those racers still need to register but are asked to register with the entry fee only option.

The race schedule will be as follows: 10:15 a.m. -12:30 p.m. - Pre-K to 5th grade competitors only; 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. - adult teams and sponsored racers; 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m - all ages. The Pre-K- 5 races and the all ages races will be run on a first-come, first served basis.

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