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The Great Cardboard Box Derby Brings Out the Best in WinterFest: Dozens to Compete for the Coveted Titles

by Madison V. Fisler

Jan. 6, 2013. What does cardboard have to do with a race in the snow? For many High Country residents and visitors, fixing up a cardboard box into a race car of sorts has been an annual tradition for years. On Sunday, Jan. 12, Beech Mountain’s The Great Cardboard Box Derby will take place as an exciting part of the resort’s WinterFest 2014 Celebration, with tons of excited participants ready to strut their stuff and win the coveted title.

Pilots from all over will converge on the resort to take place in what has become one of the most highly anticipated events of the mountain winter season. Sitting astride their trusty cardboard steeds, participants will race down the mountain and be judged on visual appeal, originality and of course, speed!

“We have been doing this since about 1982,” said Talia Freeman, director of marketing at Beech Mountain Resort.

“It’s a really fun event and it is something that really caters to everyone. We have a lot of demographics from families to businesses, hardcore skiers and people who don’t ski at all. It’s really a fun thing for everyone to be a part of and it’s great when we have a lot of people participating.”

Last year, more than a dozen entries strutted their stuff at the Great Cardboard Box Derby, and this year, Beech Mountain is hoping to have even more participants competing for the coveted titles. 

“Even though the pilots have to be 18 to race, we really encourage this for families and kids. Kids really love decorating and coming up with unique ideas for the vehicles. It’s great for all ages.”

The rules for the cardboard box derby are as follows:

  • Entries must be sponsored by an affinity group such as a business, church or community organization. Each group is limited to just one entry. 
  • Up to two pilots are allowed, and both pilots must remain in the cardboard vehicle for the entirety of the race. 
  • Helmets are required for everyone participating.
  • Vehicles must be made of a cardboard box. It must have a minimum of three sides at least 10 inches high. Vehicles must be lettered and decorated.

Vehicle specifications and registration information can be found here.

All participants must be age 18 or older and can register from 9-11 a.m. at the administration building prior to the race. Races will officially begin at 2 p.m. after visual judging at noon.

“I am really excited about the derby,” said Talia Freeman, marketing director at Beech Mountain Resort.

“There is going to be some great competition and great prizes!” 

Check out our photos of The Great Cardboard Box Derby from years past.

Photos by Ken Ketchie