Start your toy engines drivers. It’s time for the fifth Down Hill Power Wheels Derby Race.
Event Organizer Larry Mahan said he is anticipating over 100 participants Saturday for one of the most energetic events in the Upper Cumberland.
“Basically, you take a kids power wheels jeep, four-wheeler, sports car, whatever and put it in neutral, and you have a 25 foot friend zone where your friends push you,” Mahan said. “Then, you hit a 169 foot hill, and the Outlaw class has a jump at the bottom. It is pretty neat.”
Mahan said there are four classes of races with a $100 to each winner. Mahan said all proceeds after prizes will go to Community Options of Cookeville, a non-profit that supports people with disabilities.
“There’s a kid’s class, a women’s class, adult stock class and then the crowd favorite is the adult outlaw class,” Mahan said. “The outlaw class is the one people see a lot on Facebook with the jump.”
Mahan said he got the idea for the event from a similar race that is held in Texas. Mahan said since then, a 15 foot tall mountain of destroyed plastic vehicles has accumulated from the popularity.
“I put on Facebook saying hey if I did this at my farm, who all would come?” Mahan said. “Within an hour, I had over 100 people interested. (…) We ended up having 1,500 something people on the farm and raised $9,015 from a free event for St. Judes, and I was like wow we are going to keep doing this.”
While it is unlikely your vehicle will make it down in one piece, Mahan said the adrenaline rush makes it worth it. The races are held at the Mahan’s Farm at Cookeville’s Dodson Branch Highway and is free to attend and participate.
“It is a little bit of a nervous feeling and adrenaline rush but for me, there is so much energy there,” Mahan said. “I have crashed hard almost every time, and you don’t even feel it. You’re in a plastic power wheels that weighs 15 to 20 pounds. Even if it flips on you, it doesn’t hurt you.”
There is also a costume contest, best looking power wheel contest and a down hill up hill run. Food is also provided by the Dodson’s Branch Fire Department, and most importantly, helmets are required. The event starts at noon.