Monday, October 21, 2013

Port Townsend's Kinetic Skulpture Race

"Have you heard about the Kinetic Skulpture Race?" asked the hostess at the Visitors Center in Port Townsend, WA.

We answered that we had not. "What's that all about?" was our follow-up question.

"Well, it's hard to say, but it's fun--and the race is this afternoon. Head to City Hall and you can see the preparations," was her intriguing answer.

Undefined. Fun. Sculpture spelled with a "k"--certainly worth a look.

Parking spots were at a premium downtown. Our spot was a couple of blocks from this...vehicle.
We paused to read the brochure we were given at the Visitors Center. "A Kinetic Skulpture is a human-powered, artistically enhanced vehicle....
"Some skulptures are engineering marvels while most are a mixture of bicycle parts, styrofoam, duct tape, imagination and prayers.

The vehicle "...must go through sand (Kwick Sand), mud (The Dismal Bog), float on water, and transverse hilly, silly neighborhoods. This vehicle shows the components necessary for the race.

"Kinetic racers and the glorious spectators must be kapable of having fun without taking the event too seriously."
We later learned that there are rules(!) to the race. In addition to some reasonable ones, for example, the vehicles must have life preservers, approved warning triangle, horn, operable brakes, and one paddle or oar, and each pilot must have a safety whistle accessible while on the water kourse, there are others:
"Rule 1.d--Entry must complete race to qualify for any race award.
"Rule 7-11--offishuls are doing the best they can. If things are not going your way, take it personally. They are picking on you.
"Rule 9am--No sniveling, kicking, biting, scratching, or other fisticuffs. Break this rule and you’re knocked out!
"Rule XXX--Because I said so! Rule. Statement given to anyone who questions Kinetic Authority.
"Rule XYZ--Cheating is not a right, but a privilege.

"Awards are given to each racer--whether they want it or not, but the most highly prized award is the 'Mediocrity Award,' the skulpture that finishes in the middle of the pack."

As we walked around the staging area for the participants and their vehicles, we were overwhelmed with the mass of color, construction of the vehicles (such as the one in the next two photos), and the pre-race ceremonies.

(We are showing the scenes in all their colorful confusing collection here; our entry in two days will identify the contestants in one phase of the competition.)

The Rose Hips Kween presided over the introductions of the contestants. In the previous night's Pageant Competition and Koronation Ball (where "live music was played by a live band"), the Kween had to
*Tell one joke
*Share a recipe
*Demonstrate a talent or skill
It appeared to us that each team--a pilot, a number of co-pilots, and krew--had to perform some type of song, skit, or poem as part of their entry into the competition.
This team's (above) vehicle is shown below:
We also assumed that since the theme of this year's parade was "Kinetic Kartoons," the contestants' attire, vehicle, or performance had some connection to a kartoon (loosely defined), such as, brothers Mario and Luigi.
An enthusiastic crowd had gathered for the start of the Race--at Low Noon.
Cousin David had now joined us and it was time for lunch. We'll meet up with the Race at Check Point #2 Kwik Sand.

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