Soapboxes and suds together again

For years, crowds showed up in Frostburg to watch the annual Derby Day soapbox races.

But, in 2001, the Western Maryland city's council decided to ban public consumption of beer at the races and the crowds sharply dropped off.

Now, that decision has been reversed as the town tries to draw more visitors who will spend money locally, something everyone is seeking in this down economy.

Are problems anticipated for the Fourth of July event?

Public Safety Commissioner Bob Flanigan said he is all for allowing open containers during the race.

“I was a police officer in Frostburg for 19 years and never made an arrest on Derby Day,” he told the Cumberland Times-News. “Also, we certainly saw the crowds get smaller once open containers were prohibited.”

The race will take place, and sidewalk brew consumption will be legal, on Main Street between the Palace Theater and Bowery Street where young racers will show off their gravity-powered racers.

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