The sound of buggy wheels against the Texas heat concrete can be heard each year as chants fill the air at Texas State’s annual Soap Box Derby in homemade cars.
The race was originally started in 1967 and is a car race involving registered and chartered student organizations, residence halls and Greek organizations.
The 50th anniversary of the derby is being held on Reed Street between Blanco Hall and the Campus Recreation Center on Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. This homecoming tradition is being put together by the Student Association of Campus Activities.
Each team is put into a bracket and the group that wins each round goes on to compete in the semifinals. The semifinals are split into two other brackets and the winners of those move on to compete in the finals. The winner receives a three-tiered trophy.
Esha Mohammed, mass communication senior and SACA Pride and Traditions Coordinator. and Maria Galindo, interdisciplinary studies senior, helped coordinate this year’s race.
“I think it is one of the longest traditions that we have actually had not just a part of homecoming, but as a part of the university as well,” Mohammed said.
For the event’s anniversary, SACA will have 50th anniversary balloons as well as 50th anniversary T-shirts provided by Jack Rahmann, LBJ Student Center director.
SACA and the Alumni Association hosted a soapbox car raffle where organizations could enter to receive a rental soapbox car. The raffle provided four organizations with a soapbox car to decorate and use for the competition. The LBJ Student Center provided three cars for the raffle and the Alumni Association provided the fourth.
Kathryn Arnold, student and young alumni relations coordinator, said the San Marcos Hall won the Alumni Associations soap box car.
“I think it’s a great tradition that we as an association love and many of our alumni are excited to see return each year,” Arnold said. “We are happy to support it in lots of ways and this soap box car has been a lot of fun to give more students the opportunity to participate in it as well.”
Tommy Hernandez, philosophy sophomore and Omega Delta Phi member, said his organization was one of the winners of the raffle and will compete in their winning car.
They plan to decorate their soap box car with the help of the Texas State Strutters. They chose to include the Strutters in the decorating process because they wanted the Strutters to be able to participate in a Homecoming event.
“We wanted to get involved in the homecoming events this year because we know that the Strutters can’t really be involved due to their practices and stuff so we wanted to make sure to do all of the events,” Hernandez said.