It’s an annual tradition for Brainerd residents – soap box derby races occur once a month during the summer,
starting in June and ending in September.
The races, which are put on by Brainerd Parks and Recreation, are held at the hill on 15th Avenue NE next to Lum Park and are for kids ages 6-16. The entry fee is $5 and it isn’t necessary for the racer to build his or her own car, although there are specifications for building on the Brainerd Parks and Recreation website. The city has 10 loaner cars provided by sponsors for the races.
At the bottom of the hill, the cars and the racers are weighed and weight is added to even everyone out. The cars themselves weigh about 100 pounds but after adding the rider and additional weight the total goes up to around 200 pounds.
The cars are pushed to the top of the hill, put into the starting gate and raced two at a time down to the bottom where they brake to a stop. There are multiple heats so each child gets more than one run down the hill. And at the end of each division’s competition, trophies are given out to the winners.
Those interested can find rules, registration forms and specifications for building his or her own car and race highlights after the race is held at http://www.ci.brainerd.mn.us/parks/events_soapbox.htm, part of the City of Brainerd Parks and Recreation website.