FOLLOWING a hugely successful inaugural event in 2018, the Hunter Soap Box Derby is returning in 2019.
Billy carts will again race downhill in suburban Muswellbrook on Saturday, June 29.
"We feel our society has lost a sense of good old-fashioned fun," Hunter Life Education executive officer Sarah Gray said.
"So, we want to bring it back.
"We're encouraging Hunter families, friends, community groups and businesses to build and enter a billy cart into the Hunter Soap Box Derby.
"The cart drivers will race them down Carl Street - reaching speeds of almost 35km/h."
The call out to construct a "vehicle" is going to all Hunter businesses, schools, community groups, families and groups of mates tinkering in the shed.
Competition will be fierce but friendly, according to Ms Gray.
"Many people are looking for ways to engage with their friends and family to foster stronger connections in a healthy way," she said.
"Businesses might be seeking ways to engage staff and satisfy Corporate Social Responsibility goals while having a great impact for the community around them.
"There aren't too many opportunities for this in the Hunter, so we've created one.
"The Hunter Soap Box Derby is all about connecting through the cart-building process, having fun racing it down the hill, at the same time as raising funds for a great cause."
There are several race categories, starting with juniors (drivers aged 7-15), then seniors (drivers aged 16+), the BHP Mt Arthur Coal Emergency Services and Defence contest, followed by a showdown between Hunter corporates and businesses.
"Cart building is easy with simple specifications," Ms Gray said.
"It's a fantastic opportunity to learn new talents, brush up on skills you haven't used in a while, and show everyone what you're able to build.
"There'll be fun races involving Healthy Harold, Life Education's mascot, facing off with the Easter Bunny.
"Harold's looking to redeem himself for the loss in 2018.
"There is also the family-friendly food and entertainment at the Regional Australia Bank Pit Lane Precinct at the finish line, which is located in the PCYC Muswellbrook car park.
"We'll host children's amusements, market stalls, military and emergency services equipment displays and fun, too."
Race details and specifications can be found online at www.hunterlifeeducation.org.au and pre-registrations are being taken now.
Carts can also be registered on the day of the event.
"The Hunter Soap Box Derby is a fundraiser organised by and for the benefit of Hunter Life Education, working to ensure young people of the Hunter have access to free or subsidised Life Education lessons," Ms Gray said.
"These lessons empower young people to lead safer and healthier lives though education.
"So, thanks must go to our sponsors Regional Australia Bank, BHP Mt Arthur Coal, Defence Force Recruiting, Woolworths Muswellbrook, Coates Hire Muswellbrook, Muswellbrook RSL Club, Muswellbrook Shire Council and PCYC Muswellbrook for their support."
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