My wife’s “Pig in Elf Shoe Euroracer.”

7 p.m., River Market Pavilion. $5.

The Rock Candy 500 started as a soap-box derby. We’d spend weeks crafting little wooden Bugattis, fashioning a racing suit out of old football pads and tear off down some twisty stretch of Hillcrest to a Chuck Berry soundtrack, the Times brain trust figured. But our better angels prevailed on us, with visions of blood on the pavement, to dial it back a tick. Now here we are, two years later, set to launch the sec-ond annual Rock Candy 500 pinewood derby, a race that features all of the craftsmanship and badassery of a soap-box derby, with none of the potential broken bones.


The gist for those who never went through Cub Scouts: Racers begin — weeks, days, maybe even hours — before the race with a 7-inch-long rectangular block of pine wood (or, technically, any kind of wood), which they shape, using whatever tool works, into the body of a model car or an animal or a superhero or anything else with wheels. Then they decorate, with paint or glitter or giant brand-name stickers, attach nails for axles and affix plastic wheels on the ends of the nails. On race night, gravity will guide the cars down a declining, 40-foot-long three-lane track.