In 1996, city councilman, Ralph “Tuffy” Hicks, suggested bringing back the running of the Soap Box Derby in Fredericksburg. The race had been run on William Street from 1951 to 1972, ending after the loss of Chevrolet as national sponsor. City Council agreed that the derby would be an excellent community event to bring back to Fredericksburg. The running of the derby would be the responsibility of the Fredericksburg Parks & Recreation Department, but many local business owners stepped up and purchased cars and donated what was needed to get the race started in 1997.
Purvis Ford was the first title sponsor of the Fredericksburg Soap Box Derby in 1997 and 85 drivers ran in two divisions, stock and super stock. By 1998 the number of participants had increased to 125. The Free Lance Star became the title sponsor in 2000. By 2001, The Free Lance Star Classic in Fredericksburg was the largest race in the country. The masters division was added in 2004, sending three champs to race at the Nationals in Akron, OH.
The Soap Box Derby in Fredericksburg is a family event that benefits the whole community. The race continues to be run on William Street in downtown Fredericksburg each year in June and would not be possible without the help of our sponsors and volunteers.
A special thanks to all our 2011 sponsors…
- The Free Lance Star
- Fredericksburg Savings Charitable Foundation
- So Wise Art
- Fredericksburg Elks Lodge #875
- Southern Auto Body
- 93.3 WFLS, 99.3 The Vibe, Classic Rock 96.9