In a city that prides itself on hurling odd things down steep streets (Big Wheels, cable cars, Steve McQueen), it makes sense that the Red Bull Soapbox Race would finally show up. The taurine-fueled beverage began hosting race events in 2000 in Brussels, and has since hosted a handful of derbies in the U.S., most of which have drawn more than 30,000 spectators. This year, more than 100 San Francisco teams applied, and from those, 40 have been selected to compete, based on the creativity of their design and approach. (But you just know someone is making one that looks like a cable car.) Besides creating a vehicle that runs only on wind and gravity, participants also perform skits, dance numbers, and whatever ever else they can come up with that's wacky enough to get the judges attention the talent portion, if you will. Maybe someone will dress up as Sarah Palin, play the flute, and then jump into a faux snowmobile? Hmm ... Past entrants have included a hip-hop Jesus, King Kong, and a hot-rod mummy. Come for the spectacle and stay for the crashes, many of which will be uploaded onto YouTube the next day for a not-so-instant replay.
Sat., Oct. 18, 1 p.m., 2008