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Marble Falls soapbox derby tentatively set for February

Marble Falls Soapbox Derby

The Downtown Soapbox Derby is tentatively planned for late February 2023. Last year's event was held in October. The previous derby under another organization (pictured) was a summer event. File photo

The second Downtown Soapbox Derby in Marble Falls appears to be gearing up for a date later than expected — February 2023 — according to event organizers.

Last year’s race took place Oct. 30-31. 

“We are delaying the races because it was difficult for some racers to compete since (last year’s) event was so close to the Halloween weekend,” said event organizer Shellie Houck.

Due to the change of date, the group has yet to apply for a permit from the city of Marble Falls. The permit must be submitted at least 90 days before the scheduled event. The derby must meet all special event permit requirements, which can be found on the city’s website.

Houck is hopeful her group’s permit will be approved as it was last year. 

“It will be the same setup we had from last year,” she said. “The feedback we got from (the city) last year was really positive.”

Similar to last year’s race, the group plans to donate all proceeds to Open Door Recovery House, a nonprofit based in Marble Falls that helps women suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. 

“At our last meeting, our group decided to make Open Door Recovery House a long-term partner,” Houck said. “We will continue to donate all proceeds to them.”

A soapbox derby has been a staple in Marble Falls for over a decade, although under a different name and with different organizers. The National Adult Soapbox Derby Association held its first race in 2010 but canceled its planned 2020 race when city officials denied that group’s permit, citing issues with vendors and the overall length of the event.

The new group, which includes racers from previous events, met the city’s requests to ban vendors and shorten races days to two rather than three.

The group plans to meet again in the coming weeks to hammer out more details. 

nathan@thepicayune.com