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Kids construct cars from vegetables at Bear Paw Festival

By Kristin Anderson Photojournalist: Heather Hintze - 8:10 PM July 11, 2014
EAGLE RIVER –

Some kids think they know how to build a car entirely from vegetables.

“Usually you want to use bigger vegetables,” said 9-year-old Daisy Truax. “Because you need more weight for it go faster.”

But Jim Yeargan knows what it takes to win the Lunch Box Derby.

“Some of the winners usually have the turnips or apples for the wheels, and the wheels are kind of spread out from the body,” he said.

Yeargan has officiated the derby at the Bear Paw Festival for 15 years. In that time, he’s seen cars of all shapes and sizes.

“It’s amazing to see how some kids have a vision before they start building,” Yeargan said. “Others have absolutely no clue, they just start putting pieces together and go, ‘Oh, look at this! It’s a car!’”

But this year, something is missing. Usually, Yeargan’s dad would be cheering on the kids from the sidelines.

“He loved building all this stuff. The ramps and the chairs and the poles and all of this stuff,” Yeargan said.

But his dad died last year.

“I miss him. Because it was fun,” Yeargan said. “And he really enjoyed it.”

Yeargan carries on his dad’s legacy, cheering on each creation.

He reminds kids it’s not about how far the car goes, it’s about learning to create.

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