2023 Portland Adult Soapbox Derby | All Ages Shoebox Derby, Schedule, Photos

Always the third Saturday in August, Portland Adult Soapbox Derby is back August 19, when you can see dozens of coaster cars powered only by gravity, whimsy, and attitude at Mt. Tabor Park.


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From website:
Portland Adult Soapbox Derby
August 19, 2023
10AM-4PM | Free | All Ages
More info:

Mt. Tabor Park
SE 60th Ave &, SE Salmon St, Portland, OR 97215

As usual the date for our event remains the third Saturday in August which in 2023 is August 19. The event will run from 10-4 for the public and will be held on Mt. Tabor. We will have an after party and awards ceremony after the derby in a location that’s yet to be determined.


How it started

Way back in the dark ages of 1994, Paul Zenk happened to find himself in the nose-bleeding altitude of Bernal Heights in the heart of the Mission District of San Francisco. The fog lifted, revealing a mass of strange creatures, some with dreaded hair, others bald as babies, some wearing post-industrial attire while others just roamed around in their mid-90’s punk shirts and ripped and stained pants. The females were sporting multi-colored hair and wearing anything from overalls to skimpy sundresses and combat boots. But that was not the shocking site. Out in the distance, the sound of rolling thunder filled the air. The road that wound its way around this urban volcano was beginning to shake. Loose gravel was vibrating under their feet. Then through the fog came wheeled demons. Men on monster machines completely powered only by gravity tore past the screaming hordes, some cars smashing into others. Throwing the daring riders into the blood-filled air and onto the merciless concrete. Another car lost control and sped into the spectators and off the cliff, while still, some made it to the bottom and into victory and legend.

The crowd was in a maelstrom, pouring beer over each other and raising their fist to the heavens.

Paul was hooked.

Two years later, in the City of Roses, He sat in the Horse Brass Pub with his partner in crime, Eric Foren, and revealed his amazing adventure in the Bay Area. A thought then came into his beer buzzed head. Why the F$#@!! do we not do that here? But where? Wait-they were sitting on their very own urban volcano called it Mt.Tabor!! This is where the fires from hell could be released onto the field of battle. So they plotted and schemed over the next year. They pulled in a small crew of riders, nothing near what was tearing down the hills of S.F., but a dedicated group that was ready to build, drink, and race.

And so it began. In the heat of the summer of 1997, six men climbed to the top of Mt Tabor, pulling their creations of death and destruction behind them. It was early in the day, yet the smell of beer and sweat already filled the air. They lined their impossible vehicles up and strapped on their glasses, helmets and the Portland Adult Soapbox Derby was born.

Mt. Tabor, and for that matter, Portland, Oregon, would never be the same.




  1. Theresa Mitchell on August 9, 2023 at 8:41 am

    I love this event. It makes me so happy!

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