The Transylvania Times -

Tenth Squirrel Box Derby Is Ready To Roll After Memorial Day Parade - Brevard, NC


May 18, 2017

Courtesy photo

It takes all kinds of help to run the Squirrel Box Derby. After being shuttled up Jailhouse Hill by Transylvania County Rescue Squad, cars are maneuvered by Marine Corps Junior ROTC cadets to the starting gate.

It's time to cut loose and let gravity do the work! Everyone is invited to the Squirrel Box Derby, where spiffy, speedy, and sometimes silly cars roll down Jailhouse Hill up to 40 miles per hour during the White Squirrel Festival.

On Saturday, May 27, starting at 11 a.m. Transylvania County Schools will present the Tenth Annual Squirrel Box Derby after the Memorial Day Parade. The running of the Derby is made possible by sponsors and partners, especially the Heart of Brevard and the Brevard High School Band Association.

Drivers enter gravity-powered racers in three categories: ages 8 to 11, 12 to 17, and the Open Division for 18 and up and all business entrants. Individual cars may be driven by different drivers in each division.

With a split-second, photo finish between Team LAGATI and the Oskar Blues REEB Racer in last year's finals, bragging rights are on the line again this year.

Cars may be entered for categories based on appearance as well as for speed. To race for speed, entries adhere to safety and weight guidelines.

Each driver races a minimum of two times, once in each lane. Elimination rounds are based on preliminary heats, with drivers going head-to-head until a winner is determined in each division.

Complete information, from safety guidelines and registration forms to photos and videos, is online at, along with volunteer registration.

All registration takes place online. Registration is free for these 17 and under, and $100 per entry in the Open Division. Every racer receives a youth or adult size T-shirt, and additional shirts are for sale.

Volunteers are an important part of the event - setting up and taking down the course, and many important jobs in between, from guiding cars in and out of the pit area, to timing races in all three divisions. Free Derby shirts for volunteers are a great way to remember the day.

Along with T-shirts and water bottles for sale on the day of the race, members of the BHS Band Association will sell raffle tickets for prizes donated by local businesses. Anyone wishing to donate may contact Transylvania County Schools at [email protected], or call (828) 577-0713.

The Transylvania County Rescue Squad will again offer their time and resources, to shuttle cars up Jailhouse Hill and provide EMS on stand-by service. The Rescue Squad is sponsored by Comporium Communications, who also provide Internet support for the Derby.

Registration opens at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, with weigh-ins and preliminary course preparation before the parade. After the parade (before 10 a.m.), volunteers will finalize the course to prepare for trial runs to start around 11 a.m.

Racing will proceed from youngest to oldest, with the Open Division finals slated for no later than 5 p.m. Awards will be given during a break in the entertainment at the Main Stage near the Chamber of Commerce/ Visitors Center. In case of rain Saturday, racing will start around 9 a.m. on Sunday. Complete details are on the Derby website.

Sponsors include Meredith Baldridge of State Farm Insurance, Terry Allen of T.E. Allen Engineering, John Taylor of O.P Taylor's Toy Store, and Geraldine Dinkins of Highline Ink. Dugan's Pub - the site of the finish line - is generously offering a meal to volunteers who spend a full day working the Derby.

Hay bales to protect drivers and spectators along the course are provided by Lowe's Home Improvement of Brevard, and tires are provided by Charlie's Tire Center on Caldwell Street.

The Squirrel Box Derby is brought to the White Squirrel Festival as a service of Transylvania County Schools


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