Skip to main content Official Visitor And Travel Site

Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival

Eccentric design competition and community arts festival featuring human-powered floats

Celebrate creativity and community spirit during the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Festival. Credit: J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia


May 20, 2017


The Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival is one of the city’s quirkiest spring events. The day-long celebration features a parade of human-powered, handmade floats and highlights the area’s creative spirit and community pride.

Cheer on design ingenuity during the derby from which a winner will be declared at its conclusion. Then, browse the booths from 200-plus local artists and vendors selling and displaying various arts and crafts.

Food trucks will be available to grab a bite to eat and live performances will take place throughout the day.

The festival raises money for projects in the area while exposing people to an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood.

Kinetic Sculpture Derby

The Kinetic Sculpture Derby parades mobile sculptures along a three-mile, urban obstacle course through the Kensington and Fishtown neighborhoods, finishing with a messy splashdown in a mud pit.

No stored energy, motors, electricity, pushing, pulling or walking is permitted in order to move the human-powered floats throughout the course. Instead, participants must devise unique, human-generated ways to keep “vehicles” – defined as a device that has wheels or moveable legs – moving at a pace of at least three miles-per-hour.

The friendly, juried competition features six awards: Best Art, Best Costume, Best Engineering, People’s Choice, Best Breakdown and the highly coveted Judge’s Choice Award.

The Layout

The Festival spans approximately five total blocks along Trenton and Susquehanna avenues. The exact route for the parade is yet to be release. Stay tuned!

More Information

For more information on the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival, click the button below.

More on the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival

Go To Top