Recently, we celebrated one of my son's 7th birthday. Several months ago, while looking online together, we saw a soapbox derby image, and he asked if we could have a soap box derby party. I love his creativity, and attention to detail, so I gladly told him we could have a soap box derby. I hand drew his invitation and digitally edited them to clean up the image some. I layered the edited drawing and wording together on a sunburst image to create a vintage feel. The drawn image was the basis for the fondant topper and fondant covered Oreos from Maria at Love and Sugar Kisses, as well as the favor boxes from Piggy Bank Parties. The image had a flame along the side of the derby car (per the birthday boy's request), so I incorporated the flame into other elements of the party. I also repeated a checkerboard flag image throughout the party.
My dedicated husband and I tried to build a soap box car according to plans from Family Fun, but despite our best efforts, we ultimately did not feel comfortable putting someone else's child on the car for safety reasons. Instead of using a homemade car, we chose to use a Kettler brand pedal car on a ramp in the driveway for the races. I used checkerboard bunting along the driveway, adding a large checkered flag and an American flag at the end of the driveway race track. The birthday boy asked for an American Flag style bunting behind the ramp and race car, so I used a simple white fabric backdrop and attached the half circle American Flag bunting to it. We timed each racer and took photos before each child raced. I will be sending the photos with thank you cards to the guests.
On the day of my son's party, it poured rain. We were prepared to have part of the party inside due to the ever changing Florida summer weather, so the food was already set up inside. We did have to move the race registration table inside, and plan another activity for the kids during the rain. My husband and I set up two Wii systems in our great room and had Mario Cart and M&M's Cart racers for the kids to play on. We also had balloon race car races on our air hockey table. We were very blessed to get an hour without rain and the kids were able to race outside.
We chose to host the party during non meal times, so we served snacks, water, juice, soda, and adult beverages for the parents. I made chocolate coated pretzels to serve with grapes, strawberries, chips & dip, and carrots and celery with dip. I purchased a simple cake from my local grocery store, although, I did ask for them to put flames on the side of the cake two days prior to the party. Maria's fondant derby car topper looked fantastic on it. I also ordered cake pops to look like derby racer heads from P.O.P.S. I always have candy at my home, so I put out some of Firefly Confections caramels and s'mores caramels out along with store bought candy. I used paper straws and poured Pixy Stix candy in them, crimped the ends with a rolling paper crimper, and added flame straw "flags" to each one. To display the Pixy Stix, I took a couple of old toy truck and pulled the tires off and glued them together to create a base container. I set the food on wooden crates and white serving dishes on a black table cloth and a checkerboard runner. I used another withe fabric backdrop behind the table, and added color with a hand colored replica of the invitation. To make the poster more personal, I used a picture of my son pretending to drive a derby car and attached it to the poster. I also added ruffled crepe paper streamers. It looked great.
Each child took home a derby car favor box from Piggy Bank Parties with candy in it, as well as balloon race cars, safety goggle sun glasses, and a small cello bag with jelly beans and a small trophy. I attached a simple tag that read, "You've 'bean' a great sport, thanks for coming"
Despite the rain, and the challenges we faced putting this party together, I was almost as happy as the birthday boy was with the outcome!
What People Ate
Because it was not a traditional meal time party, we served snacks. The guests ate grapes, strawberries, carrots and celery with dip, cake and cake pops, chocolate covered Oreos, chocolate dipped pretzels, chips and dip, and candy
What People Drank
Water, juice, soda, and adult beverages
Cake, cake pop, cookie cake
Derby car favor boxes from Piggy Bank Parties, sunglasses "safety goggles", balloon race cars, mini trophies in cello bags with jelly beans
Activities / Games
Derby race in the driveway, Wii racing games, balloon race car racing
Racing in the rain