Wauconda soapbox race postponed until September

 
 
Updated 5/31/2017 5:12 PM
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  • Wauconda's inaugural Down Hill Car Challenge was set for Saturday, but it's been postponed until September because a lack of participants. Wauconda Park District officials say they will use the three extra months to line up more racers.

      Wauconda's inaugural Down Hill Car Challenge was set for Saturday, but it's been postponed until September because a lack of participants. Wauconda Park District officials say they will use the three extra months to line up more racers. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

The inaugural Wauconda Down Hill Car Challenge set for Saturday has been postponed because of low interest.

Organizers with the Wauconda Park District and the Wauconda Township Historical Society had been hoping for at least a dozen participants, but only two had signed up, said Tim Staton, the park district's recreation supervisor.

So, planners moved the race -- to feature nonmotorized vehicles commonly called gravity racers or soapbox cars -- to Sept. 30. It will begin at noon at Cook Memorial Park, 600 N. Main St.

Organizers will spend the next few months promoting the contest to attract racers.

"We are hoping to use the (Wauconda) car shows and other summer events to promote the event a little better and get more cars registered," Staton said.

Organizers envision a community event that brings neighbors, families and co-workers together, much like the village's annual cardboard boat regatta on Bangs Lake.

"We are hoping that this event will help build stronger family and neighborhood bonds and memories," Staton said.

Racers will be divided into youth and adult divisions. They are to build cars using their own materials or kits. Prefabricated or professionally built cars will be ineligible for awards in the youth division.

Although body designs and materials can vary, cars can be no longer than 5 feet and must weigh 100 pounds or less. Additionally, cars must have four wheels, two in the front and two in the back; seats with braced back rests; steering equipment and a brake; steering stop blocks that prevent over-steering and accidents.

For all the rules, go to actiongraphics.biz and click on the logo for the Down Hill Challenge.

Prizes will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place finishers in both divisions.

The registration fee is $25 for the youth division or $50 for the adult division. Proceeds will benefit the park district, the historical society and a group called Main Street Attraction that promotes the downtown area.

Wauconda is no stranger to auto-themed events.

The village hosts monthly Cruise Night car shows on Main Street every summer, and the annual Wauconda Fest celebration has a car show, too.

"Let's keep the wheels turning and bring more people together with the Down Hill Challenge," Mayor Lincoln Knight said.

To register or to get more information, visit waucondaparks.com or call (847) 526-3610. You can also register at the Wauconda Park District Community Center, 600 N. Main St.

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