Frequently Asked Questions + Event Guidelines
The 2022 Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park

Get ready for an event unlike any other! Browse below for event policies and answers to questions you may have. Have any additional questions about event logistics or accessibility that are not answered below? Email us at publicengagement@sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000.

Planning Your Visit

When is the event?

Sunday, April 10, 2022, from 10 am.–5 p.m.

  • Soapbox Derby races (timed trials of each car) from 114 p.m.
  • Awards Ceremony begins 15 minutes after the last race

Check out our Event Schedule + Lineup page for more details.

Is there an admission fee? Do I need a ticket?

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is encouraged. Register here. (You’ll receive reminder emails from us!)

You do not need to present an Eventbrite ticket to enter this event.

Where is the event?

The event will be held in the northeast region of San Francisco’s McLaren Park, from the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater to the McLaren Tennis Courts, with John F. Shelley Drive serving as the racetrack.

For the most direct route, enter the park at Mansell St. and University St. or Cambridge St. and University St.

What are the transportation options for getting to McLaren Park?

Public Transportation

McLaren Park can be reached via the 29 Sunset MUNI bus line. The closest stops are at Mansell St. and University St. (inbound) and Mansell St. and Visitacion Ave. (outbound).


Rideshare, Taxi, or Carpool

The best locations for drop off and pick up are the intersections of Mansell St. and John F. Shelley Dr. (top of the racing hill) or Wayland St. and Cambridge St.



Car parking is limited inside McLaren Park and in the surrounding neighborhoods. If you plan to drive and park, anticipate an additional walking distance to the event site.

  • Accessible parking spaces are available at select locations within and just outside of the event site
  • Both locations are stops on the accessible event shuttle route (wheelchair-accessible cart).
  • Find more information in the Safety + Accessibility section of the FAQ.


Bicycle or Electric Bike

  • Valet Bicycle Parking will be hosted by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition on Shelley Drive, just north of Mansell St. (Bring a u-lock in case the valet reaches capacity.) Note: there are many hills leading to the event site in McLaren Park.
  • E-bike or bicycle rental: Lyft is offering an $8 credit to Soapbox Derby attendees to help you get to and from the event. Use code SOAPBOX22 to unlock, ride, and park a conventional or electric bicycle at a Lyft station within a ½-mile radius of the event site on John F. Shelley Drive. (In your Lyft or Bay Wheels app, click the menu in the upper-left corner, click “Rewards,” and add the code in the “Add Promo Code” section.)

Is there an event map of the Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park?

Safety + Accessibility

Will there be onsite first aid?

  • Onsite first aid will be provided by Special Medical Aid at The Lot, located near the start line.
  • A first aid kit will be available at the information desk in the Theater + Festival zone near the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater.

What safety precautions are you taking during the races?

  • The racetrack will be lined with barriers between the racers and attendees.
  • Attendees will only be allowed to cross the track in designated crossing areas at specially announced times.
  • Attendees should not cross the racetrack at any other time.

Is there accessible parking at or near the event site?

  • Accessible parking spaces are available for attendees with a properly displayed disability parking placard or license plate (including ones issued by a different state or country).
  • Accessible parking will be located at the Philosopher’s Way Trailhead parking lot located near the intersection of Mansell St. and Visitacion Ave.
  • There are additional accessible parking spaces at the Cambridge St. and Shelley Dr. event entrance.

Is there an accessible transportation option for navigating the event site?

  • An accessible event shuttle (wheelchair-accessible cart) will run throughout the day, picking up and dropping off at the two accessible parking zones and other areas throughout the event site, as indicated on the event map. (Download the event map here.)
  • If you are planning on using this service and have any questions, please contact us at publicengagement@sfmoma.org.
  • If you are looking for the accessible shuttle or need assistance on the day of the event, please contact Kim Teevan at 415.806.7736 (event day only) or ask for assistance from a staff member wearing a black t-shirt that says “SOAPBOX DERBY” in red on the back.

Is there accessible seating at the event site?

Yes, there is an accessible seating zone near the finish line, as well as in the Theater + Festival zone near the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater.

Where are the restrooms at the event site? Are there accessible and all-gender restrooms?

  • In addition to existing park restrooms, there will be two restroom zones at the event site with portable toilets.
  • One zone will be in The Lot and the other will be in the Theater + Festival zone near the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater.
  • All portable toilets are all-gender facilities. There are accessible portable toilets in each restroom zone.

Event Policies + What to Expect at the Soapbox Derby

What are the COVID-19 policies for this event?

Masking is encouraged at the 2022 Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park.

SFMOMA is following all federal, state, and local mandates regarding COVID-19 protocols for this event. We will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and communicate additional safety measures and requirements as we approach the event date.

What is permitted at the event? What is NOT permitted?


  • small bags and backpacks
  • strollers and small wagons for children
  • low-back, short lawn chairs and blankets
  • food and beverages in non-glass containers


NOT permitted:

  • no weapons of any kind
  • no illegal substances
  • no smoking and vaping of any kind
  • no umbrellas, tents, coolers, or glass bottles
  • no tripods, lights, or other large-scale camera equipment

Do not leave any bags or belongings unattended at the event site.


What should I bring?


  • We encourage you to bring a reusable water bottle (non-glass) and fill it at home so you can stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • There are park water fountains at the event site to refill your reusable bottle.

Sun protection and comfortable footwear

  • This is an outdoor event. Shade is limited. You may want to wear sun protection, such as a protective hat and sunscreen.
  • The event site at McLaren Park has both paved roads and unpaved trails, and the racetrack itself is on a 7% incline. You may want to wear supportive, comfortable shoes for walking.

Find more information about accessible event seating and the accessible event shuttle (wheelchair-accessible cart) in the Safety and Accessibility section.

Will there be food and beverages at the event?

Yes. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from local vendors at The Lot and the Theater + Festival zone near the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater. There will be vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Our vendors are:

  • Bonito Poke
  • Izzy’s Cheesesteaks
  • The Lemonade Bar
  • Rocko’s Ice Cream Tacos
  • The Sarap Shop
  • Square Pizza Truck
  • Tacos San Buena

Are there ATMs at McLaren Park?

There are no ATMs inside McLaren Park.

Several of our food and beverage vendors accept credit cards.

Can I bring my own soapbox car to McLaren Park even if I’m not racing?

No, please do not bring your own car.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes. Dogs are permitted, but they must remain on leash and cannot be left unattended.

This will be an event with crowds, loud noises, and lots of activity, so please determine if this will be a good environment for your dog. Of course, please clean up after your pet.

Can I take photos and video recordings at this event?

Yes, feel free to take photos and videos for your personal use. Tag SFMOMA on social media at @sfmoma and #sfmomaderby to share your images and videos from the event!

Due to space limitation, large-scale camera equipment such as tripods are not allowed, unless you are a member of the press. Members of the press, please contact press@sfmoma.org for further instructions.

Will SFMOMA be documenting this event?

Yes, SFMOMA will be documenting this event through photography and video.

By attending this event, you consent to being photographed and filmed, and authorize SFMOMA and its licensees to use your likeness worldwide, in any medium known now or later developed, for purposes in keeping with the museum’s mission or as related to the event.

Is this event for kids?

This is an art and community event for all ages.

Bring your kids to The Pit for family fun! Cast your vote for the Kids’ Choice Award car, make a derby hat and parade down the racetrack, check out some books on the go, and more!

What if I lose something during the event?

There will be a lost-and-found at the Information Desk at the Theater + Festival zone near the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater.

What else will be happening besides the races?

Beyond the 50+ custom soapbox cars descending the hill one by one, you can expect:

  • live music from Science Band!
  • DJ sets by Chulita Vinyl Club
  • karaoke provided by TNT Traysikel
  • an awards ceremony featuring special guest judges and 30+ artist-designed trophies
  • and more!

About SFMOMA’s Soapbox Derby

What is a soapbox derby, anyway?

A soapbox derby is a competition in which participants race in homemade motorless vehicles down an inclined raceway, using gravity to propel them.

How were the participants selected for the 2022 Soapbox Derby?

In fall 2021, SFMOMA’s Public Engagement department invited local community partners and the entire SFMOMA staff to submit nominations for 2022 derby participants. A group of finalists was selected from the nominee list by an SFMOMA staff jury and invited to join the race. In February 2022, an additional 11 entrants were selected to join the derby based on their car design submissions to our Open Call.

Get to know the 2022 participants building cars and trophies on our Soapbox Derby homepage.

Can I join the 2022 race?

Our juried Open Call for the Soapbox Derby has closed, and the winners have already been selected. No additional entrants will join the race.

Why is SFMOMA hosting this event?

The 2022 Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park is a revival of a historic event hosted by SFMOMA in the 1970s. We are delighted to bring back this joyous, free community event to honor Bay Area creative ingenuity and resilience during this challenging time.

Why did you choose McLaren Park as the site?

We chose to return to McLaren Park because it is where the original soapbox derbies were held in 1975 and 1978! It was selected then because of Shelley Drive’s long, curving hill.

How can I learn more about SFMOMA’s original Artists’ Soapbox Derbies from the 1970s?

Check out our Soapbox Derby homepage, where you can find lots of information about the 2022 revival event as well as the historic events from 1975 and 1978. There, you can watch Amanda Pope’s film The Incredible San Francisco Artists’ Soap Box Derby documenting the original 1975 event!

For further inquiries, please email publicengagement@sfmoma.org or archives@sfmoma.org.