by Amber Kelly

Event Coordinator

Historic Newburgh, Inc.

Do you like vegetables? Do you enjoy race cars? If so, then the Zucchini 500 at the Historic Newburgh Farmers Market on Saturday, July 7, is for you! Zucchini races are fun for the whole family. Registration is free and is open to all ages. Rev up your imagination and start planning your very own zucchini racer now!

Zucchini cars will race on our custom-built racetrack, in an elimination-style tournament. In each race, the first racer to reach the finish line will be the winner, and will move on to the next round. The number of heats we run will depend on the number of racers registered for the event. With the possibility of multiple heats for each participant to find a winner, zucchini vehicles should be built to stand up to multiple races.

Eager contestants can register for the competition at the Historic Newburgh Farmers Market located at the corner of State Street and Water Street in the Edgewater Grille parking lot in downtown Newburgh on Saturday, July 7, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Contestants will receive a car number for their zucchini car to identify them during the heats. Race heats will start at 9 a.m., and heats will continue until we have a winner. Prizes for the zucchini races are $75 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd place, and $25 for 3rd place. In addition to our monetary prizes, winners will have bragging rights all year. First place winner will also receive a Historic Newburgh Farmers Market Zucchini 500 trophy. Please enter only one zucchini racer per person so that everyone has a chance to participate.

Want to make your own zucchini racer? Rules for participating racers are simple:

1. Limit 1 zucchini car per person.

2. Zucchini car must be made of a single zucchini or yellow squash, do not attach multiple zucchini together.

3. Zucchini car must be less than 8 inches in width including your wheels and decorations.

4. Decorations cannot extend more than 3 inches from the front or back of your zucchini car.

5. Zucchini car axle must pass through the zucchini. A dowel with spinning wheels is acceptable, but a zucchini strapped to a toy car or skateboard is not acceptable.

6. Get creative! Decorations are encouraged!

7. Zucchini car must be gravity-powered only. Any engine/rubber band/rocket powered vehicles will be disqualified.

8. Have some fun!

Are you interested participating in the zucchini 500, but don't know how to start building your own zucchini racer? The Bell Road library located at 4111 Lakeshore Drive in Newburgh will have free zucchini car building workshops on Thursday, July 5, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday, July 6, from 10 a.m to 11:30 a.m. The library will provide instruction, zucchini and all of the supplies needed to build your own zucchini racer for the event.

A special thanks to FC Tucker Emge Realtors for sponsoring this event and to Meuth Carpet in Newburgh for building our zucchini race track! We would also like to thank our farmers market vendors Reimann's Farm Market and Lawler Farms for growing and donating large zucchinis to the library for the car building workshops.

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