About Kirby Derby
A Raleigh Tradition Since 2002
An annual theme.
Costumes and silliness galore.
An offbeat parade.
A kids competition of pinebox cars.
A soapbox derby.
Kirby Derby is an invitation for creative expression and community engagement. Fun creativity that is free from critique is a powerful contributor to happiness.
On one day a year since 2002 when Aly and Beth Khalifa started the tradition of Kirby Derby, the tiny little neighborhood of Pullen Park Terrace grew well beyond its normal size to invite friends and friends of friends (and so on) to join them in celebrating creative expression and home grown fun. That first year, the single event was a parade. On year 5, the now famous Kirby Derby “Derby” – of the soapbox variety – was added. This Raleigh tradition has continued to grow and gather loyal fans ever since.
In 2017, the 16th annual Kirby Derby moved to a new location. The residents of Pullen Park Terrace decided to embrace the unstoppable growth and enthusiasm of Kirby Derby by moving the event to a space that could handle the bigger numbers. As a neighborhood that borders Dorothea Dix Park, they thought it only fitting to merge the excitement of the event with the excitement and beauty of this new city space.
An all volunteer effort, Kirby Derby takes about 6 months to plan and produce. Kirby Derby is an event that is free to all and is enjoyed by spectators and participants from all over the Raleigh area – and beyond!
Pullen Park Terrace
a neighborhood that believes in neighborhoods
Pullen Park Terrace is a small neighborhood in Raleigh, NC, comprised of just 32 homes on less than 8 total acres. We started Kirby Derby on a whim, but kept it going for over 20 years because we believe creativity is important to building community. What started as a front yard silly moment of one neighborhood and friends, has grown to a city-wide event with neighborhoods all over Raleigh representing their creative flair and friendly competitive spirit.
Pullen Park Terrace is just west of downtown Raleigh and has produced Kirby Derby since its beginning. We now work with the City of Raleigh and Dix Park Conservancy to continue to grow and share the fun. Join us! Build a car, or gather a parade group. Get creative!
Statement about Kendall Circle
Pullen Park Terrace believes that Kendall Circle (which used to be a part of the Dorothea Dix campus, but is currently a part of NC State) should be a protected natural space. As of 2023, the NC State Master Plan shows Kendall Circle being preserved as an arboretum expansion. We support this direction and continue to monitor the situation as Centennial Campus and NC State grow.
Learn more on Kendall Circle site
Follow @kendallcircleraleigh on Instagram
2017 Silver Award
National Neighborhood of the Year
In May 2017, Pullen Park Terrace was awarded 2nd prize nationally for Neighborhood of the Year, specifically for the project of Kirby Derby. Congratulations to everyone who has helped make Kirby Derby so special over the years.