Bradford’s fantastic, thrill-packed Super Soapbox Challenge is back this weekend!
The amazing and hugely popular event – which was watched by an estimated 17,000 people at its inaugural races last year – takes place in the city centre on Sunday (April 30).
Almost 30 teams have entered their whacky and wonderful wheeled creations for this year’s Challenge across a 350-metre downhill course lined with safety fencing – and huge crowds.
And organisers say they expect this year’s event, which was commissioned and sponsored by the Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) – the limited not-for-profit company funded by more than 600 levy-paying businesses and organisations to help promote and develop the city centre – to be viewed by more than 20,000 people.
Bradford BID manager Jonny Noble said: “Our first Super Soapbox Challenge was a great way to bring people together in the city centre and we’re expecting this year’s event to be even bigger and better.
“With Bradford Council’s new outdoor food and drink festival, Taste:BD, taking place in the city centre on the same day, the timing couldn’t be better.
“Sunday is going to be an absolutely brilliant day out in Bradford city centre!”
The Council has announced it is to close Sunbridge Road as it joins to the A6181 to Market Street, including Aldermanbury and Tyrrel Street, on both April 29 and 30 between 9am and 10pm.
“The road closures will make it safer for people to move between the food and drink festival and the Super Soapbox Challenge,” said Mr Noble. “So it will be easy to pop over to get some food and then come back and watch the races – and vice versa.”
The course starts on Kirkgate, whizzes down Bank Street and ends on Tyrrel Street, at the bottom of Ivegate and the edge of City Park.
This year’s event has a new partnering sponsor, Bradford Theatres, who will also present the Overall Winner’s award and medals, accompanied by ten tickets to one of Bradford Theatre’s blockbuster shows, to the team that wins this category.
Adam Renton, general manager at Bradford Theatres added: “Partnering Bradford BID to support this fun-packed, family day in the very heart of our city is a great opportunity to showcase our upcoming, top-quality shows.”
Bradford City AFC, whose own cart entry spectacularly crashed on the start ramp last year, will present the Joker of the Day award.
One of City’s players will release the first cart down the four-metre-high start ramp, which will be erected on Kirkgate, at 11am.
Following the Soapbox Challenge’s mascot, Sir Sidney Cartalot, showing off his football skills with Billy Bantam before City’s match on Saturday, the City mascot will be playing away with an appearance at the soapbox event itself.
And the bend at the junction of Bank Street and Tyrrel Street – where spectators witnessed many a near spill at last year’s event – will be referred to as The Bradford City Bend.
The event will feature three races followed by a final for the top ten.
Prizes and medals will be awarded for:
- Main sponsor’s choice award – presented by Bradford BID
- Best turned-out Soapbox crew – presented by Christeyns
- Overall most innovative cart design – presented by The Super Soapbox Challenge Company
- Third place of the Bradford BID Super Soapbox Challenge – presented by The Broadway Shopping Centre
- Second place of the Bradford BID Super Soapbox Challenge – presented by Auker Rhodes
- Overall winner of the Bradford BID Super Soapbox Challenge – presented by Bradford Theatres
The prizes will be presented on the stage next to the finish line on Tyrell Street when the races finish at around 5.30pm, followed by live music.
The official charity partners for this year’s Challenge are the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, an independent charity providing a lifesaving rapid response emergency service to five million people across the whole of Yorkshire.
The event will see the return of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance promotional vehicle which features a flight simulator in a replica helicopter cockpit.
The other beneficiary is Centrepoint, the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity which supports over 20,000 young people every year. Centrepoint has been supporting young people for over fifty years.