The third Tunbridge Wells Soapbox Stars Kart Race takes place on Saturday June 25. The one-day extravaganza will see 45 ‘pimped up’ karts raced by local businesses and schools hurtling down a hair-raising track in Dunorlan Park in order to raise funds for three charities.
For 2022 they are Hospice in the Weald, the Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre and Nourish Community Foodbank.
Tickets for the wacky fundraiser – hosted again by TV chef and much-loved Tunbridge Wells resident Rosemary Shrager, who has promised to join in the fun by racing down the track herself – need to be purchased in advance, as they won’t be available on the day.
“Alongside Rosemary, will be panto king Tom Swift of Wicked Productions who will be providing race day commentary, while award-winning youth musical theatre company Talentz will be on hand with a special performance,” explained the event’s founder and organsier Nicole Piesse Turner.
“Visitors can also expect a variety of top-quality food and drink stalls alongside sideshows and entertainment including community Samba drumming band Bloco Fogo, a display by renowned graffiti artist Humor Street and a climbing wall for children.”
Nicole added that Nourish Community Foodbank will also be in attendance on the day, raising awareness and collecting for the charity, which is in more demand than ever.
In order to raise vital funds, the idea is for each participating team to donate their first £250 to the Hospice in the Weald, with the option of continuing to donate their remaining sponsorship funds to them – or a second charity of their choice.
The Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre is the event’s second chosen charity said Nicole with also Nourish Foodbank benefitting too.
The much-loved soapbox race was first launched in 2018 and in its second year in 2019 managed to raise over £50,000 for local charities but it was forced out of action for two years due to the pandemic.
The good news is this year it’s finally returning and for the first time will be welcoming schools as an exciting new addition.
“We believe this is a sign of the event’s value within the community and across West Kent,” added Nicole.
“We are more than thrilled to bring back this outrageously silly but incredibly important event to Tunbridge Wells. Because we had to postpone it twice due to Covid it’s been a less than straightforward journey to get it back on to the town’s event calendar but due to an overwhelming – and emotional – outpouring of support from the local business and the school community we are back – and we hope better than ever!
“This year’s event welcomes schools for the first time. They wanted to take part in the races before the pandemic and we didn’t want to let them down again. Along with children’s anxiety at the forefront of all of our minds following recent events, it is one of the most important aspects of this year’s race along with the charities, community and businesses.
“It’s going to be a great community celebration we’ve been looking forward to for so long and we’re really going for gold, in terms of what we can raise for the local charities who could really do with our help after the past few years has left them really struggling.”
Nicole went on to say that apart from the ‘bonkers’ race itself there will be plenty for visitors to enjoy from live performances, to delicious food, to a climbing wall.
“We really need for the community to really get behind us. We’ve already had an overwhelming amount of tickets sold and with a new batch now added, we are encouraging our lovely town to come and join in the madness – there won’t be an opportunity to buy on the door so don’t miss out and get yours now!”
Soapbox Stars runs on Saturday June 25 from 10am to 6pm, and tickets will be available at www.twsoapboxrace.com They cost just £12.50 for an adult, £8.50 for a child (5-17) and little one’s under 5 go free.
More information is available at twsoapboxrace.com/buytickets