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Portland Adult Soapbox Derby Saturday, August 25, 2007

The crowd cheers as the finalists cross the finish line in the Portland Adult Soapbox Derby Aug. 25 at Mt. Tabor Park. Team MICE/El Raton (no. 23) beat Lompizer (no. 19) and Landshark V to take the speed title.

Visitors to Portland might spot a black bumper sticker or t-shirt that reads "Keep Portland Weird!" in funky yellow letters. If they hang around town, it doesn't take long for them to realize just how weird it is. And if they stick around just a little longer, they might figure out why the locals like it that way.

The slogan is part of a campaign to support locally-owned businesses, but it could just as easily apply to a number of events held here every year. Such as the Adult Soapbox Derby.

Every year since at least 2001, a couple of dozen teams have entered cars in a soapbox derby on Mt. Tabor in SE Portland.
They have names like Dust Bunnies ("Honk if you're hairy") and Spirit of Zard ("Exterminate all Brutals in sector R"). Half of the cars are built for speed, the other half are more competitive in the "Best Art Car," "Best Costumes" and "Lame Duck" categories.

Hundreds of spectators gathered along the course enjoying the action, sunshine and, in many cases, adult beverages.

(left) Spectators ranged in age from toddlers to octogenarians, but most were in their 20s or 30s. (below) The Left Behind team had a Noah's Ark theme. Teammates not on the ark dressed as unicorns.

(left) Landshark V beats MiPL Your Ride (no. 38) by inches in a semifinal heat. Just after crossing the line, Landshark veered into the black car. (bottom) Drivers of Landshark V check on Tiffany Thompson after their accident. The car was severely damaged, but she suffered only minor injuries.