Started in 1965 by the New Berlin Police Dept., the DERBY is now organized and run by a dedicated group of volunteers known as The New Berlin Soap Box Derby Commission. We operate as an independent group, in close cooperation with New Berlin Parks, Recreation & Forestry Dept. New Berlin residents ages 6 through 16 build and race their own cars for this event, competing for trophies and prizes. Registration period typically runs from June 1st through August 1st. A small registration fee is charged. A comprehensive set of rules for racing, as well as specifications for building the cars, is provided to all interested parties.
In the early years, small groups of racers used farm wagons as a starting ramp, and raced on city streets. Now we average around 80 drivers, who race on our 1,000-foot, 3-lane paved track on the west side of Valley View Park.
The Commission consists of a board of directors and general membership. From these groups, committees are formed for varied tasks and purposes. Fund raising by the Commission members, contributions from fraternal organizations and businesses from around the country, and generous donations from dedicated individuals keep us solvent. In 1994, we built a new storage building. In 2003, an electric-eye finish line was installed. In 2004, we did a major re-paving of the track. Also in 2004, we began a major sponsorship program. (These sponsorships are for the naming rights of our four racing classes). In 2008 we received our 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. We also have a college scholarship program for Derby drivers.
The Commission is always looking for new members. Come join in on the fun!
We also have a race that we call the ‘Special Race for Special Kids.' This event is open to individuals of any age with cognitive and physical challenges. Scout troop 41 performs the assistant driver duties in dual-control cars supplied by the commission.
The DERBY is held annually on the first Sunday after Labor Day. The DERBY typically runs from 8 AM to 5 PM. Admission is free for spectators. Concessions are available. Our awards night is held two weeks after the DERBY.
For general information on the New Berlin Soap Box Derby, or if you are interested in becoming a Commission member, please contact:
For information on the "Special Race for Special Kids," and to register for this event, please contact Commission member
Thank you for your interest in the New Berlin Soap Box Derby.