CHICAGO — Chicagoans will celebrate in August to mark the creation of a sport created at home — Roller Derby.
World Roller Derby Week will be Aug. 13-19. It marks the 82nd anniversary of the first roller derby in Chicago.
The festivities will include a public birthday celebration, a retro derby with rules and uniforms from the 1970s , and a Red Cross national roller derby blood drive .
Leo Seltzer invented and produced the first roller derby at the Chicago Coliseum on Aug. 13, 1935. A massive derby lured 50,000 fans to Comiskey Park in the 1970s.
Celebration organizers say there are about 2,000 adult leagues actively playing around the world.
Cheryl Cryer is World Roller Derby Week’s organizer. She says the event will “pay respect” to the sports founders and to Chicago.