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Entrants in the children's races, which took place in the early afternoon.

Entrants in the children’s races, which took place in the early afternoon at the Popps Packing Pinewood Derby II.

A renegade hailstorm was not enough to rain on the parade at Popps Packing in Hamtramck last Saturday, July 27th, where the Pinewood Derby II fundraiser was held, much to the delight of participants and art groupies of all ages. The Pinewood Derby is a racing and fundraising tradition created by the Boy Scouts of America; the first was held in 1953 by Cub Scout Pack 280C of Manhattan Beach, Calif. and became an instant and enduring hit. The magazine Boy’s Life offered plans for the track and car, which featured “four wheels, four nails, and three blocks of wood,” as well as the rules of the road: “The Derby is run in heats — two to four cars starting by gravity from a standstill on a track and run down a ramp to a finish line unaided. The track is an inclined ramp with wood strips down the center to guide the cars.”

Rules so simple, even a child can understand.

Rules so simple, even a child could understand.

The silent auction prior to the racing action.

The silent auction prior to the racing action.

Add 100 of Detroit’s finest artists to that time-honored tradition, and you have all the makings of a blowout event. The early afternoon was dominated by the children’s races, which took place in the lovely ambiance of Popps’ outdoor area, and though the inclement weather forced the main event inside, neither spirits nor the DJ equipment were irreparably dampened.

KK

“The Hi-Pie Rider” by Teresa Peterson.

A contender created by Hinterlands Theater Ensemble.

A contender created by The Hinterlands theater ensemble.

This collaborative piece by Mary Fortuna and BB is running on double the horsepower!

This collaborative piece by Mary Fortuna and Bret Boulter featured a working headlight and extra horsepower!

A stunning, if somewhat less functional offering from Popps Packing co-founder Graem Whyte.

A stunning, if somewhat less functional, offering from Popps Packing co-founder Graem Whyte.

Popps Packing held the derby as a fundraiser to support programming for the art laboratory, as well as dreams of expansion into a second facility, Popps Emporium. This blogger certainly hopes the fundraiser was a rousing success, if it means future fun times with the gang at Popps!

The scene at Popps Packing.

The scene at Popps Packing.

Art cars, take your marks.

Art cars, take your marks.

Popps Packing: 12138 Saint Aubin, Hamtramck; www.poppspacking.org

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