About the Author: James Land serves as Public Affairs Officer at U.S. Embassy Tallinn.
Cultural diplomacy...sports diplomacy...and now, derby diplomacy.
The 4th Annual Soap Box Derby in Narva, Estonia, brought scenes of police officers posing as prisoners in a mock traffic-police car; a bicycle fashioned into a model of the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth fighter jet; a flying dinosaur-like animal on a spread-out chopper bike...one ton of imagination; thousands of spectators -- priceless! This vivid picture of quintessential American culture had diverse audiences from throughout Estonia enjoying a true array of unbridled enthusiasm and originality.
The derby, which took place on June 5 in a city literally on the border with Russia, was supported again this year by the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn, as well as by the embassy staff who contributed their entries and energy to the contest. U.S. Ambassador Michael C. Polt opened the festivities and handed out the trophies at the end of the competition to not only the fastest car, but also the most creative -- a difficult determination with so many unique entrants.
You can see more photos from the day here.