Soapbox derby races into Poulsbo

POULSBO — The Kitsap Soapbox Derby races are coasting into Poulsbo this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, the unpowered auto competition will be held on Dauntless Drive near Olhava. A portion of the road will be shut down both days.

Normally held on Ridgetop Boulevard in Silverdale, derby organizers are testing out the new location in response to requests from businesses that their Ridgetop access not be blocked.

The Kitsap Soapbox Derby Association received approval for the event’s relocation from Poulsbo’s City Council last week. Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade said she, the police department and the Public Works department all signed off on the trial run.

The association is looking for a new, permanent location conducive to the derby’s gravity-powered racing. Sponsored by the Silverdale Sunrise Rotary Club, association President Bill Court said they do like to hold the event in that community. They have approval to shutdown and use Ridgetop Boulevard for races later in the year if needed, but Court said because businesses are so “strenuously” affected and the area makes for difficult set-up, the search is on for a new track location, and Poulsbo proved a prime candidate. He said the hill on Dauntless is not quite steep enough, but with ramp adjustments, racers should be able to gain plenty of speed.

Kitsap’s derby season runs from March to the middle of October. The association will also hold races in April, June and August. Court said after this weekend’s races at Olhava, they will reevaluate the possibility of making Poulsbo the derby’s new home.

The event has been held for the last six years in locations in both Silverdale and Bremerton. It attracts 40-50 drivers between the ages of 8-17 and their families, from both in and out of state. Often 100-150 racers and spectators attend, track committee chairman Bill Wright told Poulsbo’s City Council. The association will provide space for parking within the shutdown portion of Dauntless, as well as on undeveloped land. The association will not host vendors, but will instead refer visitors to Olhava restaurants and shops for purchasing needs.

Quade said unlike the derby’s Silverdale location, the shutting down of Dauntless shouldn’t cause any undue trouble, and “will not preclude anybody from getting where they need to get in the Olhava development.”

Wright said the association would notify nearby businesses and neighbors of the event as soon as possible.

Council Member Connie Lord said she thought the derby’s move to Poulsbo, albeit a trial run, would be a great thing for area kids to see, and perhaps they’ll become inspired to take part.

“We’re always looking for something for youth to do,” she said. “I think it’s a great idea.”

Wright said three classes of roadsters will run in the races, including stock cars, which weigh up to 200 pounds, super stock cars, weighing up to 230 pounds, and masters cars, which weigh up to 255 pounds.

The public is welcome to check out the festivities. Show cars, as well as soapbox cars for adults, will be on display.

For more on the Kitsap Soapbox Derby Association, visit

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates