Maryland's wackiest race is set to begin at the American Visionary Art Museum Saturday, May 3, 2014. This amazing race marks its sixteenth year in Baltimore and promises another year of spectacular machines, creative costumes and loads of fun throughout the race course. The annual East Coast Kinetic Sculpture Race Championship is hosted by the American Visionary Art Museum and has delivered some of the most creative moveable art sculptures, and amphibious engineering marvels. through the streets of Baltimore since its inception.
Last year 38 sculptures entered the 14-mile course that traverses pavement, sand, mud and trial by water, in the Baltimore harbor. With a number of creative categories for winners the 2013 Grand Mediocre East Coast Champion was "Eek!", an amphibious human-powered Rube Goldberg mousetrap. The grand title for this category is awarded to the sculpture team through a "mysterious mathematical means which include a point scoring system based on artistic merit, engineering prowess, and blinding speed of the sculpture," according to the official award rules.
Some of the more unique awards include the: Golden Dinosaur, awarded to the first sculpture to break down or to the most memorable breakdown: the Golden Flipper, awarded to the sculpture with the most interesting water entry at the Canton Waterfront Park; and the Next to Last award which goes to the, you guessed it, the sculpture finishing next to last. "That way", according to the official website, "the end of the race can get pretty exciting."
If you haven't designed a human-powered sculpture for the race you can still be a part of this exciting and energizing event by volunteering for one of the many positions needed to make an event this big work like a fine Swiss watch. The first volunteer meeting is set for April 12th at 10 a.m. in the Jim Rouse Visionary Center on the 3rd floor of the American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, Baltimore.
If you're not interested in being a "sand dweller", "mud doctor", "medic on wheels", "number nerd" or "checkpoint Charlie," you can still be witness to this dynamic event as a spectator. Costumes are welcome for all spectators as well as volunteers. The website even has a page devoted to "What to Wear to the Race," to give you some ideas.
Be a part of the fun and remember it's free to watch from anywhere along the race that begins at the American Visionary Art Museum then winds through the Inner Harbor to the Canton Waterfront Park for the water entry and floatation trial, through the sand and mud pits in Patterson Park then back to the starting point for well deserved celebration.