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Family Fun That Goes Downhill Fast

Pinewood Derby car. Photo Credit:

May 13 is Pinewood Derby Day for Girls & Boys, Young & Old

by Melody Partrick, Village of Nyack Recreation Dept
Vrrooming engines. Squealing brakes. Cheering crowds on their feet. On May 13, the Village of Nyack Rec Dept and the Cub & Boy Scouts hosts a car race with only one of those three sounds.
Come to the Nyack Center and rekindle your Cub Scout memories of the Pinewood Derby. Or start new memories for a new generation of girls and boys whittling your way to four wheeled, non-motorized victory. Or just a great shared experience for moms, dads and kids of all ages.

What’s A Pinewood Derby?

Remember when you would grab a block of wood, whittle it down to an awesome elongated triangle, glue some wheels and axels on it, and send it down a long track racing against your friends?
Wait … some of you didn’t do that? Not even once? Some of you did it but think “alas, it is child’s play and I am too much of the grown up world now for such fun and frivolity.”
Well, fret no more. If you have never experienced the thrill of racing a pine wood derby car, and for those of you waiting patiently for the chance to do it again, the moment of fun is just … around …the corner.

Your hosts for the day will be Troop 2 and Pack 2 of the Nyack/Valley Cottage Boy Scouts, led by Pinewood Derby Teacher/Creator Extraordinaire Jim Politi (better known as Nyack Village Administrator Jim Politi). Race day begins at 10a. Admission is free. No entrance fee to compete. However, family fun is required, so be prepared to smile, cheer and have a great time.
Are you thinking, “sure, this sounds like fun, but what do I know about making a Pinewood Derby car?” Have no fear — we have a workshop for that. April 29 is Pine Car Derby Workshop Day (where is this? and what time is it?) where from 9a-3p newbies can get some hands on instructions about how to craft a car and vets can get a few reminders.

Here’s what you need to do next to be part of Nyack’s Pinewood Derby

  • Bring a pine car derby car to the Nyack Center on Sat April 29. You can buy the kit either at or at local hobby shops. To save time at the workshop, whittle and shape your block of wood into something that looks like a car. The workshop will help you add wheels, add weight and decorate your rabid racing machine.There will be a limited number of pre-cut pine car derby kit race kits that can be purchased for $20 on the day of the workshop. Get there early while the limited supply lasts!

It’s all downhill from here. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

  • April 29 is the Official Registration Day for the Official Race Day on May 13..Because this is a highly competitive sport, cars must be weighed and cannot exceed specified size and weight limits.Once your vehicle has been registered and approved for competition, the cars will be kept at Nyack Center until May 13.

Want to know more? Visit the Nyack Rec Department Pinewood Rules page at
So, before you hear the announcer say “Ladies and Gentlemen, start your non-engines!” here’s the schedule for race day, May 13:

9a – Doors Open
10a – 10 and under Age Group races begin
12n – 11 and over Age Group races begin
2p – Over 18 Age Group races begin (that’s right … the adults get their own time!)

Congrats to everyone in advance for making a car, sharing family fun. And a big thanks to all of the neighbors, family and friends who come out to cheer on race day!

Melody Partrick is the Director of Nyack’s Parks & Recreation Department.

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