Pauls Valley Democrat
The tracks and vehicles may be much smaller than a national day at the races, but the fanfare and scale of 2013’s Hot Wheels Double Dog Dare Derby is expecting no less enthusiasm as engines set to fire when it returns to Pauls Valley on Saturday, May 25.
Growing in popularity to the point of needing a whole day to celebrate all things speed, the Toy and Action Figure Museum has a lot in store for fans far and wide for the eighth go round, according to museum Director Ryan Peacock.
Moved from its usual weekend during BrickFest, the goal for this year’s crew is to give visitors a reason to stick around from start to finish with a whole range of activities from games to a near festival atmosphere.
“We’ve been pretty excited,” said Peacock. “It’s another way for us to bring people to the downtown area.”
For Peacock, it’s his second time helping coordinate the fast paced action and an exciting chance to build on a tradition where both kids and adults show a high level of competitive spirit.
Joining the races that kick off with registration starting at 10 a.m., there are plans for as many as 10 different carnival games including familiar classics like a soda pop ring toss, ducks in a pond, a basketball shoot and popping balloons with darts as well as newer ideas like a Nerf gun shooting gallery.
All it costs to race is $6 for the first car, $5 for each additional, complimented by free admission to the museum and five free carnival game tickets, said Peacock. There will also be carnival game ticket packets one can purchase for $4 and the latest derby T-shirt.
“It’s not just an event for kids, but for families,” said Peacock, adding how his own kids have joined countless others who ask him almost daily when they can get in on the action.
“It was really fun last year and planning for this year has been fun.”
Ultimately the reason they want to keep people here for the duration is to build up the anticipation and celebration of the winners in both age categories, said Peacock. For the kids up to age 12 and the adults, which includes 13 and older, there is a chance to take home prizes like a trophy be it as a champion or runner up with the belief that the more cheering there is, the better.
“We want to keep people here for the whole event… We wanted to crown a champion like they do at NASCAR races,” said Peacock. “It’s that joy and excitement on kids’ faces as they hear their name or as their car races down the track… Everybody cheering for them.”
The race itself will be done in heats and in-between them there will also be games or skits performed with one far out there addition called “Whack the Wookie,” said Peacock. Done as a tongue in cheek way to keep the energy of visitors up, kids will basically be able to whack someone in the furry costume with foam bats and eventually the crowd will get to call it a day with the museum’s first ever 100 water gun fight.
“The goal is to make every day during the summer a fun day,” said Peacock, noting how it is only one of many events people can check out at the museum along with several movie promotion days and the return of International Superhero Day. “If you can’t afford an expensive vacation you can come here.”