AKRON, OH (WOIO) - It's the most wonderful time of the year for kids lined up to watch a parade on Main Street in Akron.
The parade kicks off a week-long celebration leading up to the 78th All-American Soap Box Derby.
Racers have come from all over the globe to get to the finish line.
A team all the way from Japan told 19 Action News reporter Lydia Esparra that they took a 12-hour flight to get here.
Aaron Kinge from New Zealand loves coming to America.
This is his second trip.
"Everyone likes us because of our accents so it is quite cool," Kinge said.
Joe Mazur is president and CEO of the Soap Box Derby. He says he is glad the weather is finally cooperating.
"On Saturday of race week, the world championship, we will race rain or shine," said Mazur.
400 racers will hit the track on July 25.
Ayana VanDerMaek is from New York and says this is her first big race.
"I think I am going to win on Saturday. You're supposed to say 'yes I am going to win on Saturday."
SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Champs' Registration Derby Downs 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Trial Runs, Photo Shoot, Etc.
First-timers' Orientation Derby Downs 6 p.m.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Champs' Registration Derby Downs 8 – 10 a.m. & 3 – 5 p.m.
Trial Runs, Photo Shoot, Etc.
Parent/Driver Meeting Canal Park 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Champions' Official S. Main St. – Downtown Noon – 12:30 p.m.
Welcoming Parade (Canal Park to Lock 3)
Champions' welcome Lock 3 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Rally Meeting Lock 3 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Rock the Rec/ UA Student Wellness 6 – 9 p.m.
Badge trading and Recreation Center
Tuesday, July 21
DQ Rally Challenge Derby Downs/Track
Rally Masters Champs 8 a.m.
Rally Stock Champs Noon
Rally Super Stock Champs 2 p.m.
Local Masters Champs 10 a.m.
Wednesday, July 22
SUBWAY® Challenge Derby Downs/Track
Local Super Stock 8 a.m.
Local Stock 11 a.m.
Thursday, July 23
Alignment/Wheel Selection/ Derby Downs/Topside 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Ultimate Speed Xootr Derby Downs/Track 8 a.m.
Parents' Race Derby Downs/Track 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Champs' Group Photo Derby Downs/Grandstands 3:15 p..m
DQ Rally Challenge Finals Derby Downs/Track 4 – 5 p.m.
SUBWAY® Challenge Finals
International Challenge Finals
Topside Show Derby Downs/Topside 5 – 9 p.m.
Open Track (public runs) Derby Downs/Starting Line 5 – 7 p.m.
Build and Battle Competition Derby Downs/Topside/Track 6 – 9 p.m.
Friday, July 24
2015 Super Kids Classic Derby Downs/Track 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
First Heat 10 a.m.
Final Heat 3 p.m. (Estimate)
Saturday, July 25
Race Day Champions Arrival Derby Downs/Starting Line 7 – 7:45 a.m.
Whitey Hall Pavilion
Local Masters 7 a.m.
Local Super Stock 7:15 a.m.
Local Stock 7:30 a.m.
Rally Champs 7:45 a.m.
FEAASBD Opening Ceremonies/ Derby Downs/Track 8:30 a.m.
Parade of Champions
First Heat of the Derby Downs/Track 9 a.m.
78th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby
Mayor's Cup Championship Derby Downs/Track 2 p.m. (approximately)
Final Heat Derby Downs/Finish Line 3 p.m. (Estimate)
Awards Ceremony Akron Civic Theatre 7 p.m.
182 S. Main Street
Sunday, July 26
Pictures on display Derby Downs/Topside 7 a.m. - Noon
Racer crating/pickup Derby Downs/Topside All Day
Events are scheduled throughout the week. CLICK HERE for more.