On Saturday, September 16th, the streets of Boissevain will be filled with families, friends and neighbors ... and soap box cars!
The Boissevain Lions club is sponsoring a soap box derby race - the first ever to be held in Boissevain.
Lions Club member, Gordon Turner, has take the lead on the project with about 60 young drivers participating.
Turner has never driven a soap box himself, but heard about the derby races, and the idea just ... took off!
"The soap box idea came up about 3 years ago and so I went home and built a car and then Covid hit, so it sat in the box for 3 years," explains Turner, "and then this year I brought it up to the Lions Club again and they thought it was a good idea. So, I took it to the festival committee, and Melissa [Perkins] said, "What do you need?!"
From that day, Turner delved into the car industry business, building wooden soap box car kits for kids (and their families) to put together. In addition to those, they built a handful of extra cars to be used on race day for those who don't have a car of their own to compete in but would still like to race.
The limit is 60 participants and there are still 10 spots left. They have 36 cars but have 50 kids registered to race, as some cars will be used by multiple siblings.
"The kids are just thrilled," shares Turner. "We've had some send us pictures of the cars they've made, and we're really encouraging them to decorate their cars, because that's half the fun and half the prizes, like prizes aren't just for the first one down the hill."
When asked if Turner was a soap box car racer, he said no but had keen interest in the concept right from the get-go! "Somebody mentioned it and something clicked and I thought it was a good idea," he explains. "We did go to the races in Brandon this year, just to see what it was all about and so that was a great learning experience. The kids were having fun, they'd been doing it for 35 years there in Brandon. It's interesting, they had 62 participants there and we have 60 so that's says something about the support from the town!"
The Boissevain'Streetfest takes place Saturday, September 16th. The soap car derby races will begin at 11 am on the top of the hill on Cook Street in Boissevain. For more information on joining the race, please email Gordon Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please listen to more with Gordon Turner below!
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