It all began in 1934, the year of the first soapbox derby. Since then, the race has grown from a Midwestern hobby to a national obsession. YMCA and Maroone auto dealers sponsor South Florida's annual Soap Box Derby for kids and adults on the Andrews Avenue bridge in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Participants build and race their own nonmotorized cars. Division winners get the chance to compete in the National Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio. The race also features an event for handicapped youths and a "Silly Soap Box Derby" for adults. Proceeds benefit the YMCA of Broward County, so get off your soapbox and roll on over to help a good cause. The event starts at 9 a.m. and is free. Call 954-489-2426. -- Audra Schroeder
SAT 5/17 Something's Fishy
South Florida's offering some fishy events this month, and you may be hooked. On Saturday, kids ages 6 to 12 can drop their lines into games, stories, and crafts related to various types of fish and other marine animals at Okeeheelee Nature Center (7715 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach). Fee is $3. Call 561-233-1400. And for those who want to grab the fish by the, uh, gills, the Jupiter Inlet Offshore Fishing Club offers a three-part clinic on driftboat fishing for kids ages 9 to 12. The first session takes place at 7 p.m. Monday, May 19, at Old Town Hall (1000 Town Hall Dr., Jupiter). Call 561-741-2310. -- Audra Schroeder
FRI 5/16 Whadda Mess
Family fun done dirt cheap
For those of us who spend the week toiling away at work and school, just wanting to survive until the weekend, T.Y. Park (3300 N. Park Rd., Hollywood) offers a little extra incentive. Friday is Family Fun Night at Castaway Island. Now, we all remember the Nickelodeon show Double Dare, and its spinoff, Family Double Dare. Parents and children took turns performing stunts that involved ridiculous amounts of chocolate pudding, Jell-O, and any other food product that could get messy and embarrassing. On this particular night, "family fun" means: slime time, water musical chairs, digging for worms, a sponge pail race, a water balloon toss, and a pie-in-the-face contest. Participants are encouraged to wear swimsuits. Cost is $5 per person. Starts at 6 p.m. Call 954-985-1980. -- Audra Schroeder
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