Hillsborough International Oyster Festival organisers are gearing up for one of the event’s undisputed highlights - the annual Soapbox Derby.
Sponsored this year by Phoenix Natural Gas, and due to take place on Saturday, September 3, the Soapbox Derby typically sees community and youth groups from across Northern Ireland compete in an array of scratch-built vehicles.
The competition is now open for entries to all such community groups, youth clubs and children accompanied by an adult.
Teams are invited to design and construct their own soapbox to race down Hillsborough’s Main Street in pursuit of a range of cash prizes as well as a mystery prize from Toyota, to be unveiled in the weeks leading up to the race.
Oyster Festival organising committee chairman Don Spence said: “The Soapbox Derby is always a highlight of the festival; it really encourages team spirit amongst entrants and promotes community interaction.
“We are very grateful to Phoenix Natural Gas for coming on board to support this longstanding festival favourite and look forward to working together to make this year bigger and better.”
Phoenix Natural Gas Business Development Director, Alastair Pollock,added: “The Soapbox Derby is one of the most exciting aspects of the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival and we’re delighted to be helping to put the wheels in motion.
“The competing teams are very imaginative and are always thinking outside the (soap) box with their designs.”
Race categories on the day allow competitors to enter the Junior Race – open to drivers aged 12-17 (accompanied by an adult); Senior Race – open to drivers aged 18 and over; Best Warm-up performance; Best Overall Team.
Runners-up from the Junior and Senior Races will also receive cash prizes and their marks will be based on finishing times. The Best Overall Team will speed home with £500 and the special Toyota prize will be awarded to the group that demonstrates an exemplary spirit of camaraderie.
Entries cost £40 (Junior) and £60 (Senior) and the deadline to enter is Monday, August 19 2016.
Full competition entry details and terms and conditions can be found at www.hillsboroughoysterfestival.com. Completed entry forms should be sent to: Stephen Patterson, C/o ER Wilson’s Grocers, 1 Main Street, Hillsborough, BT26 6AE.
The Oyster Festival programme runs from Tuesday 30August – Sunday 4 September and is supported by principal sponsors Turkish Airlines, Quilter Cheviot, Phoenix Natural Gas and Tourism Northern Ireland.