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Pinewood Derby a success in new venue

Kids from nine different packs compete at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds

CELEBRATING — Cameron Moody, left, of Pack 1553 in Wellsburg celebrates after a preliminary round during Saturday's Pinewood Derby at Friendship Park. Moody later placed sixth in the final round. -- Andrew Grimm

SMITHFIELD — The Boy Scouts of America Two Chiefs District Pinewood Derby had a new home and a new date this year, but was still a success none the less.

Some 83 pariticpants from nine different packs competed on Saturday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds at Friendship Park, with four different packs represented in the winners circle at the end of the day.

“It worked out really nice having it there,” Pinewood Derby Chairman Joe Kovaleski said. “Everybody was glad that we were able to have it. It was different than having it in the mall, that’s for sure, but everybody appreciated that they were able to have some space and freedom to wander around and still be able to hear the PA system. It worked out really nice.”

The event, typically held the first week of February at the Fort Steuben Mall, was moved to the fairgrounds near Smithfield this year and pushed back to Saturday to be able to have it outdoors to allow for distancing and a safer environment due to COVID-19 protocols.

“The fair board let us use the park and the facilities, the kitchen for the concession stand, at no cost,” Kovaleski said. “That was really nice. Everybody is just itching to do something. A lot of scouting units were shut down last year and some of them are still not able to do much as far as meetings, so it was nice to be able to do it.

“The fair board bent over backward for us to make it happen. Being out there, the kids were able to run around and have a good time.”

Despite some wind and the temperature remaining a little cooler, the rain stayed away and the competitors were able to have an enjoyable competition.

“Other than (the wind), it was nice,” Kovaleski said. “A lot of people liked the openness of it being outdoors.”

Taking home the prizes at the end of the competition were:

• First place, Ace Momaeff of Pack 1553, Wellsburg.

• Second place, Carson Thompson of Pack 41, Toronto.

• Third place, Sylvia Bowers of Pack 401, Steubenville.

• Fourth place, Owen Glazure of Pack 49, Irondale.

• Fifth place, Jacob Thompson of Pack 41, Toronto.

• Sixth place, Cameron Moody of Pack 1553, Wellsburg.

• Best in show car design, Emmet Gilchrist of Pack 1553, Wellsburg.

In addition to the fair board, the Ville, the Wintersville Trophy Shop and the Scout Shop also were sponsors of the event.

“It was really nice,” Kovaleski said. “The kids had a good time and parents had a good time. It worked out well.”

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