The #AmazingAccrington Soapbox Challenge returns on Saturday 26th August from 10am-4pm with a spectacular line-up of events having been announced for the day.
Over 15,000 people flocked to Accrington for the event in 2022 and they are expected to return in their thousands this year for #AmazingAccrington’s biggest and busiest attraction.
The event gets underway at 10am when the pits open, with karts on display in front of the town square. The road will be closed for the event from Property Shop on Blackburn Road, down into Town Square in Accrington Town Centre, creating a 170-metre long Soapbox track for competitors to race down. There will be pit lanes and raised areas to ensure a good view of the soapbox vehicles. The track will include jumps, water jumps, and competitors will be squirted with water pistols! All profits made from entry fees will go to Maundy Relief, the charity set up to benefit the people of Hyndburn. The Soapbox has raised over £5,000 to date for them.
Competitors have been challenged to create a four-wheeled non-motorised Soapbox vehicle, using only gravity for fuel and speed. The soapbox must have a form of steering, the ability to brake and competitor safety helmets must be worn – aside from that, there are no rules … it’s simply the first to reach the finishing line wins!
The first heat of racing gets underway at 11am, followed by the second heat at 2pm and the announcement of the winners at 3pm.
This year, an interval will be added between the karting and what a line-up is in store. From Brazilian-style dancers and the Blackburn Festival of Light Street Band, to Vuvuzelas and performances from popular ska band Blowjangles and the Hyndburn Comets Majorettes, this is a great chance to enjoy the August Bank Holiday weekend in style.
Visitors will also be encouraged to use the interval to visit local eateries, to #ShopLocal and enjoy the amazing food and drink on offer.
Back by popular demand, The Code Show will be a free attraction in Accrington Market Hall on the day. A local coding roadshow celebrating how 1980’s Britain embraced the home computer. Do you remember the BBC B Micro, Sinclair ZX81, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and Commodore 64?
Come along to play on the games – and be inspired to get into coding yourself. Exhibits also on display include a Sinclair C5 and 1980’s technology, such as a dial up telephone and video recorder, that in the 21st century fits into your mobile phone as an app – over 25 free gaming machines!
Sponsors for the event include Hyndburn Borough Council, Sundown Solutions, Accrington and Rossendale College, Boohoo and Financial Affairs.
Cllr Marlene Haworth, Leader of Hyndburn Borough Council, said:
“We’re looking forward to the Soapbox Challenge on Saturday, 26th August – it’s a really busy, well supported event for the town. It’s great to see the town filled with people enjoying themselves, and it really helps our local shops, traders and eateries to see so many visitors.”
Ben Lee from Sundown Solutions, said:
“Sundown had a fantastic day out at the Soapbox Challenge last year, so we couldn’t wait to sign up to sponsor it again. It’s a great day out for all the family! We’ll also have The Code Show in the Market Hall, an interactive exhibition on gaming – and we might spot some future Sundown talent while we’re there!
Morag Davis, Centre Principal for Accrington & Rossendale College, commented:
“We are proud to be a main sponsor of this event. Our talented motor vehicle engineering staff and students are working together to build our soapbox and we at the college are really looking forward to supporting the event, which will be like a carnival with a samba band, Brazilian dancers, the Hyndburn Comet Majorettes, and Blowjangles band performing!”
Paul Daughtry, Senior Automation and Engineering Manager at Boohoo Group PLC, said,
“This is the second time we’ve been involved with the Soapbox Challenge, we have stepped up to be a main sponsor and we can’t wait to show off our kart. There will be some serious competition from the Boohoo team this year, and we can’t wait for Radio Lancashire’s Stephen Lowe to set us off! Come down on Saturday 26th August and have a great time!”
Murray Dawson, Chair of #AmazingAccrington, commented:
“The Soapbox Challenge is one of Accrington’s flagship events and we love the challenge set to us every year to make it even bigger and better. We have a fantastic line-up of attractions for everyone to enjoy this year and with the addition of an interval for people to #ShopLocal and grab a bite to eat, this is going to be an amazing day for all the family.”
Check out the Amazing Accrington website www.amazingaccrington.co.uk and their social media channels for more coverage from the event.