Columbus ran its first race in 1934 and has raced continuosly since 1962. 

In the 40’s and 50’s, the race was held down Grandview Ave. In 1962, the race was held on an unopened portion of I-71 near 5th Ave.  In 1963, the race returned to Grandview.

In 1955, Columbus Mayor Sensenbrenner was an honorary participant.

In 1964 and ’65, the race was held on E 5th Ave between Alum Creek and N. Cassidy and in ’66 on an unopened portion of I-70 near the Miller Kelton exit.


Our dedicated track in Big Run Park opened in 1967 thanks to the leadership of CRPD Director Mel Dodge and Derby Director Jay Schoedinger.

1995 begins the modern era of derby racing with three divisions based on standardized kits. Participation emphasis shifts from “Building” to “Assembling”. Applying STEM principles and excellent driving skills are the new essentials for competitiveness.

In 2019 we celebrated the 75th running of the Columbus Soap Box Derby. Derby alumni visited the track to experience the thrill of the hill once again.

In 2022, Eleni Fischer became Columbus’ first World Champion. Eleni and her family had no prior derby experience. She started racing by attending one of our Test Drive events!

Columbus Derby families share their best derby memories here.