Derby Days on track in Yamhill
YAMHILL — All the traditional elements — karaoke, frog jumping, a big parade, derby cars — will be part of the 60th annual Yamhill Derby Days festival, Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20.
The festival started back in 1954 when T&E General Store hosted soap box derby races as part of its anniversary celebration. Townspeople enjoyed it so much, they held another celebration the next year, and the next. Soon local residents looked forward to Derby Days each July.
Activities will get underway Friday night with the crowning of the Derby Days queen at 6:30 p.m. in Beulah Park. An all-comers’ talent show will start at 7 p.m., followed by karaoke at 7:30, also in the park.
Saturday morning, you have your choice of starting the day with a pancake breakfast or a road run. The pancakes will be served in the Yamhill-Carlton High School cafeteria, starting at 6:30 a.m.; there’s a small charge. The road run will take off at 8:30 a.m. from the center of town.
The Derby Days parade, one of the biggest in Yamhill County, will start forming at 9 a.m. at Yamhill-Carlton High School. At 10 a.m., floats, horses and walkers will head down Highway 47 to Beulah Park.
Gordon Zimmerman, 90, will ride as grand marshal of the parade. He grew up in Yamhill, the descendant of two of the town’s founding families, and returned to his hometown after a career as an opera singer in San Francisco. Known as a historian of the area. He authored the book “A Song of Old Yamhill.”
For information about entering the parade, call 503-662-4489.
The park will be the scene of the rest of the day’s activities. As the parade ends, bingo will start and booths will open, offering souvenirs and food throughout the day. Call 503-857-8606 for information about booth space.
Local Boy Scouts will hold a patriotic ceremony at noon.
Derby races will get underway at 12:30 p.m. Wayne McLeod will run the heats for boys and girls 8 to 11 years old. For more information, call 503-662-3822.
Silent auction tables will be open from 11 am. until mid-afternoon, offering a variety of items donated by area stores and individuals. A live auction will start at 2 p.m.
Proceeds from both auctions go toward upgrades in the community and the park. For more information, call 503-580-2363.
Children will bring their own frogs for the jumping contest, which starts at 3:30 p.m. Both kids and adults can compete in the tricycle races, which start at 4:30 p.m. Call 503-662-3756 for information about the frog jumping and 662-3322 for information about the tricycles.
At 5:30 p.m., firefighters from around the area will compete in the bucket brigade contest. Teams will vie to lift and pass buckets filled with water.
Derby Day will wind up Saturday night with live music in the park. An easy-listening band will play starting at 8:30 p.m.