News Flash

* Hampton City News

Posted on: July 24, 2017

Registration deadline for soap box derby in downtown Hampton is Aug. 3, race is Aug. 5

graphic of derby cars

April 4, 2017 – The registration deadline for the upcoming soap box derby down the Booker T. Washington Memorial Bridge is now Aug. 3. The race will take place Saturday, Aug. 5.

The adults-only derby is the brainchild of restaurateur Carlyle Bland – who also spearheaded such events downtown as the Rolling of the Bulls, drag races and waiter races; and Slide the City. The soap box derby was big when he was young, said Bland, and “I always wanted to do it.”

The race will be sponsored by the Downtown Hampton Development Partnership. 

Participants will make their own cars, with some advice from Langley Speedway, which will also help with the race. The Peninsula Jaycees – which also were involved in the youth version of the derby during its local heyday in the ’60s and ’70s – will offer a volunteer crew. (The Peninsula Soap Box Derby's history gets a shout-out in the “Hidden Figures” movie.)

Soap box derby drivers must be 18, but the construction and race are family-friendly.  More information and entry forms can be found at

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