The Red Bull Soapbox Race near Piedmont Park was just as ridiculous as you think it should be: huge crowds of some 40,000 people, last I heard, costumed people completely dedicated to the cause of crossing the finish line and sunshine trying to cook us all.
Indeed, 10th Street was closed, lined with hay bales and thousands of onlookers waving fans and ringing cowbells. (As noisemakers go, the cowbells were effective, but not obnoxious. Good job, Red Bull!)
To get a true taste of what it was like, I highly recommend photographer Brant Sanderlin’s photo gallery of soapbox race oddities. I’ll try to post more photos and video later, too.
Meanwhile, a sampling of what you would’ve heard, had you been there. Other than cowbell, of course.
Announcer: “You injured Chuck Norris!”
Team member: “You can’t injure Chuck Norris.”
— Announcer to team member, after a Chuck Norris-themed car killed Chuck Norris.
“It was supposed to be blowing bubbles right now.”
— Obviously disappointed announcer
“All you kids — hay bales are dangerous.”
— Dude in a hot dog suit, after crashing his Varsity-themed car
“Give it up for this guy, he’s wearing a hot dog suit.”
— Announcer, making it clear what wins respect around here.
“I’m still shaking a little — I got a lot of air, huh?”
— Driver of the pink flamingo-themed car, which made great time.
“He’s going to be feeling that all the way back to Wisconsin.”
— Announcer on the driver of a car that came all the way from the Midwest, then crashed.
“If you had a panda costume, wouldn’t you have a panda on your team?”
— Guys with a panda-costumed teammate, for no obvious reason
“We’re 100 percent confident we’re going to finish — hey, we’re all engineers!”
— Typical soapbox trash talk
“Does anyone out there like beer?”
— Announcer, who gently reminded everyone that there’s no drinking before racing
“Good tricks? Wrecks? Mullets? What else is going to earn points for us?”
— Announcer, failing to see the pattern in points
“I feel like the Simon.”
— Celeb judge Bert Weiss, on why he gave a 5 when others gave a 10
“We might make the turn, but we will lose this race.”
— Typical soapbox humility
“Naked men everywhere!”
— Announcer, just after the Fur Bus crashed — you can see the carnage in the photo posted above.
Overhear something hilarious (but family friendly) at the soapbox race? Post it in the comments!