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Red Bull Soap Box in DC

Olympics, Schmolympics – We’re Getting A SoapBox Race!

UStreetDirt has learned that representatives from Red Bull and Capital Sports Ventures – a self-billed “sports properties accelerator” – have met with representatives of the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association regarding their plans to stage a Red Bull Soapbox Race in September of 2014.

The race would be staged down 15th Street between Euclid and Florida which, considering that turn right around Belmont, could be awesome. Or awesomely hilarious. Which, we gather, is really the entire point.

Looks like they'd fit right in here.

Looks like they’d fit right in here.

If everybody agrees and all comes together, this would be the second Red Bull-sponsored “sports” event in or near our fair city, and the first on the ground. This September 21st, the first D.C. Flugtag event will be staged at the Southpointe Waterfront at National Harbor. Much like the Flugtag, the real competition in Red Bull soapbox races is in making the oddest, strangest contraption possible, with extra points for a spectacular fail. Think Miss Adams Morgan but with wheels instead of heels.

Of course, the race would come with a few bumps. Parts of 15th Street and Florida Avenue would see minor construction as the viewing stands are erected, and the day of the race portions of the streets would be shut to traffic with around 80 or so parking places removed.

Still in all, however, it seems like a minimal cost for such a colorful event. And, as Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association president Christina Parascandola tells us, the soapbox race would be a great example of how to use and under-utilized treasure in the hood – Meridian Hill Park.  “One reason for supporting this event is that it will make it easier to hold special events in the park, like symphony concerts and movie nights, given that Red Bull will have established a blueprint for cutting through the red tape,” she says.

Like the conversion of the cursed space that was formerly Cada Vez into an multi-purpose Indian cultural center, this just sounds like a great idea with lots of upside and very little downside. One thing, however: those hoping to down the vodka-Red Bulls will have to do so elsewhere that day: there will be no alcohol served at the race.

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