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Soapbox Derby, Stick Ball and Double-Dutch Coming to Thomas Jefferson Park

By Gustavo Solis | April 24, 2015 5:48pm
 The Parks Department will host a free event where kids can learn how to play old-school street games at Thomas Jefferson Park. 
Soapbox Derby
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EAST HARLEM — Hey kids! BYOH (bring your own helmet) to a soapbox derby at Thomas Jefferson Park this weekend.

The race will be one of more than a dozen old-school street games children will be able to play at the park for free Saturday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the Parks Department’s Eight Annual NYC Street Games.

“Street Games is pretty much the biggest event that we have at Thomas Jefferson Park all year," said Marie Winfield a member of the Friends of Thomas Jefferson Park group.

More than 6,000 people are expected to attend, she added.

The tradition started eight years ago to introduce kids to the low-tech street games of yesteryear, according to the parks department, according to the Parks Department.

None of the activities require a Wi-Fi connection or batteries.

Celebrities like comedian Gilbert Gottfried and former Knick Walt 'Clyde' Frazier have attended previous Street Games. This year people will be able to hangout with John Wallace, a former Knicks first rounder who took Syracuse University to the NCAA finals in 1996, according to the Parks Department.

Kids will receive a special Street Games passport with a list of different activities. Those who complete seven out of 10 will get a special prize, according to the Parks Department.

The activities include stick ball, pogo sticks, hula hoops, double-dutch, four square, yo-yos, street hockey and wheelchair basketball.

Children will also get a chance to learn how to ride a bike or a skateboard. For parents, it's an opportunity to teach their kids they used to play.

“Yo-yo, Double-Dutch, hopscotch these were all things that we did at school and growing up in the city," Winfield said.