Local champions from each of the Stock, Super Stock and Masters division Soap Box Derby races throughout the world come to Akron, Ohio, in July each year to compete for scholarships and merchandise prizes in the All-American Soap Box Derby.
Upon their arrival, each of the young champions will receive their official racing clothing. Following the checking in process at Canal Park the champions will begin lining up for the parade through downtown Akron. Once at Lock 3 each champion will be introduced on stage. While on stage each champion will have the opportunity to throw out trinkets and souvenirs. Then the champion will sign in on the official entry board and have their official photo taken
As the week progresses, the young champions are reunited with their racers which have been shipped from home. The cars are weighed and thoroughly inspected to make certain they meet all the safety regulations. The champs get their first look at Derby Downs, a 954 foot racing track designed specifically for Soap Box Derby competition. Each of the contestants gets a trial run down the course to become familiar with the track. Parents and families of the Derby champs, as well as local Derby officials and fans who visit the All-American, also have a busy week. There are special entertainment programs for champions, families, and friends, while Derby officials attend meetings concerning rules and workshops on how to improve their racing programs.
Celebrities from the sports and entertainment world come to Akron to visit the champs and take part in the Derby parade and other festivities.
The week's festivities lead up to Race Day when the anxious champions prime their racers for a chance at the winner's circle. Race Day activities kick off with a spectacular opening ceremonies, followed by the traditional Oil Can Trophy Race which celebrities compete in oversized Derby Cars.
There will be three divisions at the All-American in the Local Championship and three divisions in the Rally Championship. By the afternoon's end, six new winners emerge to wear the traditonal gold jackets (local champions) and scarlet jackets (rally champions) signifying they are the world champions of the Stock, Super Stock and Masters divisions of the All-American Soap Box Derby.
All awards are presented on Saturday evening as the champions, their families and friends, Derby officials and business and civic leaders gather to pay tribute to all the contestants in the All-American Soap Box Derby and to present the awards to the winners. In Derby circles, all contestants in the All-American are considered champions because it is believed they all have greatly enriched their lives through the experience they have had in Akron during Derby Week and the lessons they have learned while building their cars and racing them in local Derby programs back home.