SIGN UP NOW! The kickoff for the 6th annual Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby happened on January 30th at Ol’ Republic Brewery in Nevada City. IF YOU MISSED IT, YOU CAN STILL REGISTER BY FILLING OUT THE ONLINE FORM.

richcarThe fee for both Art or Speed themed derby cars remains at $200 per team. Each team should visit www.ncderby.com for a complete list of rules. Registration is limited, with spots going to the first 42 teams that enter their paperwork and pay their entry fees. Those interested in volunteering to help can sign up on the webpage to be a part of the event team!

The 6th annual Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby will be held on Sunday, June 5th, 2016 at Pioneer Park. Entered in either the Art or Speed category, teams will compete in head to head racing…or generally crazy feats of gravity powered fun! According to Rich Bodine, Chief Instigator for the race, “Art teams tend to win the crowd…while Speed teams win the race.” Every year the creativity and skill of the teams in both design and workmanship seems to improve, and with each year, our team of volunteers manages to pull off a fun-filled day for the entire family.

Racing down Nimrod Street at speeds exceeding 40 mph is exhilarating, but safety remains a top concern.  “Our committee spent months focusing on course design and safety”, says Bodine. Organizers now utilize over 600 straw bales and nearly 250 barricades to protect both the racers and the crowd. For perspective, these numbers are double those of the bike races. Additionally, teams go through a rigorous qualification day and are required to meet the strict standards of workmanship. While teams are limited to a $500 budget to build their derby cars, the cost of braking systems has been excluded from the budget constraints.

slinkyfullslinkyheadAnother noticeable change that has been made since the race’s inception is the location of the “pit area”. Relocated to the end of the course, in Pioneer Park’s lower parking lot (near the tennis courts), the pit area is open to the public, allowing a closer look at the derby cars and interaction with the teams.

Further up the hill, food and beverage vendors, live music and free swimming for the kids will help to round out the event.

Who benefits from this event? Simply put…our community. Pioneer Park is the official beneficiary of this fundraising event. Primarily, however, this is a fun and free event for the entire community! The funds from this past year were slated towards installing new water fountains at the park, and helping to fund a new playground. “But not just any water fountains,” says Bodine, “our community now has fountains that also allow park users to fill their eco-friendly water bottles. A gravity powered event has a pretty small carbon footprint, and we saw an opportunity to make Pioneer Park and Nevada City a better place.”

smokeThe race continues to gain recognition! Teams from San Jose, Reno, Houston, Wichita, and elsewhere have raced in this premier event. Many of our local teams have now also competed in the annual Portland Adult Soapbox Derby. Last year, the fastest car belonged to the Rusty Rockets, of San Jose, CA.

So, what’s new for this year? Last year, several community groups and individuals volunteered their services to help with the derby. This year is no different. We are once again working with Nevada City Little League to plan a movie night at the park, after last year’s event was such a huge success! The Kiwanis Club has plans to conduct another “ball drop” between races in which attendees can make a donation and hope that their assigned ball is the first to the bottom of the hill!

Do you have what it takes to build an adult soapbox derby car?  Contact us (ncderby@gmail.com) or through the website, www.ncderby.com.

See you at the races!

Rich Bodine,
Chief Instigator


We hope you had as much fun as we did at the 4th Annual Soapbox Derby. Below are the final scores you’ve all been waiting for:


search-1Click here to download detailed results.


Outside-Inn-Nevada-CityOnce again Erin Theim, with Outside Inn, out does it again with her amazing photo documentation of the event. Click here to see all her images.


Kudos to Herb Lindberg for making this sweet mix:

Adult soapbox derby, racing for the benefit of our community park!

Mission: Our mission is to provide a fun event for the entire community that is family friendly and enjoyable for all ages. Our primary goal is to have fun! The race is also a benefit for Pioneer Park improvement projects. We raise money through donations, race sponsorships, racer fees, and vendor contributions that are used to fund improvement projects at Pioneer Park in Nevada City, CA.

What is the Park Project? Pioneer Park is a beautiful park. Children and adults alike enjoy the recreation opportunities it offers. Our goal is to raise money to help fund additional amenities within the park. Current ideas include refurbishing barbecue areas, additional seating areas around the pool, and a multiuse (bicycling/jogging/walking) pathway within the park boundaries. Past projects include a new bocce ball court, seating areas, additional safety barricades for public events, baseball field improvements and financial commitments towards longer term park projects. Additional ideas are welcome!

Why a soapbox derby? Our community is filled with hills, and amazingly talented individuals. A soapbox derby is a fun event that is GREEN! It is a GRAVITY POWERED event, fueled only by the creativity and imagination of the participants!

Mr P, Busted, Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby, 2013