COATESVILLE — People came together to enjoy and celebrate the town on Saturday at the sixth annual Coatesville Invitational Vintage Grand Prix.
From the cheerleaders of the Coatesville Middle School Raiders to the first Soap Box Derby and some 20 local vendors, the event offered festivities for all as vintage cars and motorcycles raced simultaneously through a 2-course obstacle course, 2 miles along city streets.
During the opening ceremony, South Coatesville Police Chief Kevin Pierce sang the national anthem as the Pennsylvania National Guard stood with flags raised to attention on the Lincoln Highway .
Councilwoman Charrisse Allen hosted the Novel Soap Box Derby for young people this year.
“The first-ever Soap Box Derby went well,” Allen said Wednesday. “It was very important to me to put this in place for the community of Coatesville.”
Competitors in the Soap Box Derby included students of all ages through high school.
She is a general councilor and as an elected representative, she represents all the people who live in the city.
“The young people who participated in the event were very excited to build and pilot the soapbox they created. When the concept was presented to them, many of them were unsure of the project because it was something different for them,” Allen said. “However, once they started creating the car, their excitement and anticipation grew. Each group was very proud of their achievement and eager to be part of the race.
Different groups or clubs participated in the competition as teams, which allowed the participants to show their strengths in different areas, for example design, sketches, measurements, construction, decoration and driving, a said the General Counsel.
“The sense of joy on their faces and the way they cheered on their driver was impressive and showed their true sportsmanship,” Allen said.
This year marked a Grand Prix in which community engagement reached new heights through the Soap Box Derby, among other new initiatives.
“The Soap Box Derby was one of my ideas for involving the community in the Grand Prix,” Allen noted. “Bringing the city’s youth into the events is my way of engaging the community in the event to allow them to be part of the event, showcasing the talents of young people, and spending time with their families and their friends.”
Allen expressed his thanks to Jarvis Berry, executive director of the Coatesville Youth Initiative; Ricky Campbell and Dof Saunders-Bey, co-founders of Children of Men; G-3 – Giving Girls Advice – Reps Octavia Ward and Founder Kendra Saunders-Bey; John Allen, head coach of the Coatesville area men’s basketball team; Jose Colon, owner of the C-Ville tire store at 249 Lumber Street; and City Manager James Logan.
“I would just like to thank the young people for their participation and their enthusiasm,” added Allen.
Besides the Soap Box Derby, the Coatesville Middle School Raiders cheerleaders performed several live cheers during the Grand Prix.
Allen gave special thanks to the cheerleaders and their head coach, Pamela Trowery Goode.
The girls cheer on football and basketball games, as well as all their college sports teams at least once a season. They also participate in team competition challenges.
The Grand Prix also featured a Kidz Zone with activities and games for young people.
“We were thrilled to bring two new additions to the community youth focused Grand Prix event. The first was the introduction of the Coatesville Soap Box Derby, coordinated by Councilman Charrisse Allen,” Coatesville City Manager James Logan said Wednesday.
He said Allen has partnered with four Coatesville-area school district organizations and students to build and use go-karts.
The Soap Box Derby served as the official Grand Prix half-time event.
“It was exciting to see the young people from Coatesville involved in the program and we hope that next year there will be more registrations in karting,” said Logan.
“The second feature was the Kidz Zone coordinated by Shannan Thomas, owner of Thee Social Station. Shannan worked with members of the United Sports team – Thorndale – and a number of organizations to create an entertainment zone for children. children.
The area included face painting, popsicles, sports activities and other games scheduled throughout the day.
“Our thanks to Councilman Allen and Ms. Thomas for their support and coordination of these two great additions to the event,” Logan said.
Each year, Coatesville residents find new ways to enjoy, engage and volunteer for the Vintage Grand Prix, Logan said.
“The spirit of support was even greater through our youth activities,” Logan noted. “The community is always mobilizing to support our young people.”
He continued, “It also ties into Parks and Recreation’s efforts to encourage children and others to use city parks and take advantage of programs.”
These ongoing programs include special programs such as Sundays in the Park and Shakespeare in the Park, among others.
A portion of the proceeds from the sixth annual Grand Prix will be donated to support the initiatives of the Coatesville Parks and Recreation Commission.
“I want to thank the entire town of Coatesville for hosting all of the event-goers from near and far,” Logan said. “Thank you also to our City Council for their support of the Grand Prix which continues to attract new residents, businesses and investment to the city.”
Feature sponsors this year included Jeff D’Ambrosio Auto Group; the Coatesville Youth Initiative, made possible by Jennifer and Bob McNeil; and J&J Commercial Electric. Additional major sponsors include Brian Hoskins Ford, Buckley Brion McGuire & Morris LLP; Coatesville Express Car Wash at 821 E. Lincoln Highway; Howell Engineering and Surveying; and JGM USA.
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For vintage drivers, the urban course featured old-fashioned straw bales and other visually unique obstacles to overcome. The roar of engines filled the air and there was live music and exciting announcements of Grand Prix action throughout the day.
The Coatesville Invitational Vintage Grand Prix is the only remaining Grand Prix in North America that still takes place on the streets of the city, as previously reported. The pilots competed individually.
The Founders Trophy for Best in Show, presented by the Coatesville Youth Initiative, went to Dane Holland of Newark, Delaware, who drove a 1963 Jaguar XKE Fixed Head Coupe.
The Founders Trophy for top-ranked motorcycle, presented by the Jeff D’Ambrosio Auto Group Downingtown, went to Craig Charles of Abington, Pennsylvania, who raced a 1974 Triumph Trident.
The Brian Hoskins Ford Award for Best American-Made Car was presented to Jim Frank of Pylesville, Maryland in honor of his 1969 Ford Mustang Boss.
“We were thrilled to welcome thousands of people to the town of Coatesville for this year’s Vintage Grand Prix Invitational,” Logan said Monday.
“We are grateful to the City of Coatesville for allowing the administration, volunteers and all stakeholders to play an important role in the success of the Grand Prix. Special thanks to our youth involvement and our sponsors,” he said.
Each year the Grand Prix grows, Logan said, “and the growing level of support and trust in the city affirms that we are headed in the right direction.”