The annual Mission Soapbox Derby takes place on Saturday, June 24. / Bob Friesen File Photos

Soapbox Derby set for Saturday in Mission

More than 40 racers expected at annual event

It’s almost time to head for the hill, and race your way down.

The annual Mission Soapbox Derby is set for Saturday, June 24, and organizers are keeping busy getting last minute details taken care of.

Keith Hine, president of the Mission Soapbox Derby Society says he expects about 42 racers to compete this year.

“That’s really the perfect amount, otherwise if there’s too many racers, the kids only get two runs each.”

2017 marks the 19th year for the popular race, since it restarted in 1999. The original soapbox derby ran from 1946 to 1973.

This year’s event begins at about 7 a.m. as volunteers help set up the course, before the races begin.

As in years past, Hine said the races are broken down into three groups – drivers age 8-9, 10-11 and 12-14 years old.

“We give out three first place prizes, $500 bursaries, one for each class.

There are also trophies and medals for other racers. Competitors also get a racer’s shirt.

“It’s a totally awesome time. It’s going to be a great day of racing,” said Hine.

Organizers and racers will converge in the area of Heritage Park Middle School (33700 Prentis Ave.) in preparation for racing.

A section of Stave Lake Street will be closed to traffic during the race.

Along with the races is a pudding eating and hot dog eating contest for people to enjoy.

Organizers are still looking for more volunteers to help out with setting up the race site. Volunteers are needed on both Friday and Saturday.

To volunteer of for more information, contact Hine at or by phone at 604 830 1349.


According to the Mission Museum website, in 1946, the inaugural Strawberry Festival was held in Mission on Main Street from Grand Street to Horne Street. As part of the festivities, a soapbox derby was held for boys aged 11 to 16.

The first year of the derby was a huge success.

In 1947, Mission received the rights to an American Soapbox Association franchise, meaning that the winner in Mission would go on to compete in the All-American Soap Box Derby Championship finals in Akron, Ohio. By 1950 the Derby was a provincial-wide contest.

The derby’s success surpassed everyone’s expectations and in 1956 the Strawberry Festival was dropped to handle the derby exclusively, which subsequently attracted 20,000 visitors to Mission that year.

In 1958 the Derby had over 200 contestants representing over 40 different communities. The cost of staging the event had also increased with the rise in notoriety. Although the soapbox derby had a multitude of sponsors, it did not provide sufficient monetary contributions to offset the costs.

Due to declining local interest, the derby was cancelled in 1974.

In 1999, sponsored by the Mission & District Lions Club, the derby was started again. It was taken over in 2002 by the Mission & District Soap Box Derby Association and has taken place annually ever since.


Just Posted

PHOTOS:Menopause rhe Musical comes to Mission

Comedy plays to a full house at the Clarke Theatre

Mission theatre troupe presents Age of Arousal

Opening Nite Theatre Society tackles thought-provoking Canadian play

Mission mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing had help from an Abbotsford law firm

Cougar sighting by Mission’s Hillside Traditional keeps kids inside

Students had to be picked up by parents at end of day as a precaution

Deroche Elementary students release 40,000 salmon fry

Fish were placed in the stream running through the school’s property, on its way to the Fraser River

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

Nominations sought for the Women of Mission Program

Mission Community Archives is accepting nominations until April 30

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Most Read