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Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby

A kidly tradition gets the outlandish grown-up treatment in Gold Country.

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    ZOOM ZOOM: The fact is that the day of kids ruling the soapbox world are probably long gone, or at least for a good while. We're not saying that young'uns don't have the smarts or longing to construct a make-shift vehicle that runs on people power and a little elbow grease; they absolutely do and always will. But grown-ups have been turning to soapbox creation more and more, to the point that we can now call it a full-fledged form of over-18 recreation. (And, to be fair, adults used to race soapbox cars back in the day, but cute kids always got the big share of attention, in our minds; thank "Our Gang" and other early films). If you're a grown-up and you dig the world of soapbox, best get to Nevada City on Saturday, June 16 for its annual celebration of those wacky wee vehicles that have been constructed through gumption and a lot of get-up-and-go. Yep, it is time for the Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby.

    AND BOY HOWDY... Are the cars elaborate. Nope, we're not talking Rose Bowl floats, but we are talking dragons and whimsical flourishes and crazy colors. People put gobs and oodles of TLC into their non-motorized machines (gravity is what gets 'em vrooming). The cap'll be set at 42 soapboxes, so bet you'll see a wide gamut of entries. And after the race is done? You're in pretty Nevada City, one of the easy-breeziest places in Gold Country and just about as colorful in character as a done-up soapbox racer. That's a good weekend trip, if you like gold history and weird cars. And, let's be honest, everyone should have a shine for both of those things, at least if you're a Californian.