Shoppers in Tunbridge Wells were surprised to find a collection of wacky soapbox karts had parked up in the centre of town over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Four handmade karts – one in the shape of a boat and another as a mini version of well-known local restaurant Jean’s Kitchen and Wine Bar – were displayed under the Millennium Clock ahead of the Crazy Jean’s Kart Race in Dunorlan Park on June 16
The well-known local businesses who had their karts showcased in the heart of the town including Jean’s Kitchen and Wine Bar, Tunbridge Wells Property Services and Tube Monkeys – are just some the 40 local companies who are set to go head to head in the wacky races to raise money for two local charities.
Nicole Piesse Turner of event organisers Chatty Hatter said: ‘There were a lot of surprised shoppers in the town when the karts appeared and we had a lot of interest.
‘The karts looked simply amazing. Steve O’Reilly who owns Tunbridge Wells Property Services has built his kart to be a replica of his work van – complete with a missing door, which was recently stolen!
‘Tube Monkeys who are a very well-known Tunbridge Wells scaffolding firm have built theirs using scaffolding equipment and it too looks like one of their fleet of vehicles. The mini Jean’s restaurant on wheels and the boat also rightly received a lot of interest.
‘We were there urging the public to buy their tickets for the kart race with just a few weeks to go. These karts are just the tip of the iceberg, every kart we have racing down the hill is unique and off the wall and just watching the races will be incredible but there’s also a whole family fun day planned with kids entertainment and live music, so there really is something for everyone.’
The one-day Crazy Jeans extravaganza, a huge soapbox race and exhilarating family fun day, is set to pit the town’s most competitive drivers against each other while raising money for local charities Hospice In The Weald and ellenor.
Powered by Markerstudy, Crazy Jean’s also includes a food village, Local & Live acoustic music stage and children’s entertainment including a fire engine, crafts, story-telling and inflatables.
TV chef Rosemary Shrager, as celebrity ambassador, is launching the races at midday as well as hosting the closing ceremony and prize-giving at 5pm. Tom Swift of Wicked Productions is providing Race Day commentary throughout the fun-packed day, which will see doors open at 11am.
The brainchild of Tunbridge Wells entrepreneur Garry Jeffery of Jean’s Kitchen and Wine Bar on St John’s Road, Crazy Jean’s will raise money for two charities close to his and the town’s heart while also bringing a big, community event to the town he grew up in.
He explained: ‘We’re hoping a lot of people will turn out to see friends, foes, business associates and rivals go head to head in the race of the year.
‘I’ve always wanted to do a kart race in Tunbridge Wells and while we’ve got close to it before, the timing is great right now. The famous carnival that was much-loved in the town is long gone and I really wanted to bring all the businesses and community groups together for one big, amazing event that will really bring a bit of healthy and fun competition to Tunbridge Wells.
‘Please buy your tickets now to secure your spot at the event of the year!’