Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival
The Philadelphia Federal Credit Union 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 and at its conclusion at the giant, messy Mudpit finishing zone and/or browse the booths from 100-plus local artists and vendors selling and displaying various arts and crafts.
Food trucks are onsite, too, serving up tacos, hoagies, ice cream and more.
The free festival raises money for projects in the area while exposing people to an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood.
It's a parade, architectural design competition and slapstick comedy routine rolled into one.
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 more than a dozen awards. Among the categories are the People’s Choice Award, Award for Best/Worst Pun, Award for Best Costuming and Award for Best 10+ Person Team.
The festival spans a handful of city blocks along Trenton Avenue from Norris Street to Susquehanna avenues. For the exact parade route, click here.
Organizers recommend guests arrive via bike or public transportation. The festival is five blocks from the Berks stop on the Market-Frankford Line. SEPTA Bus routes 3, 5 and 25 also let you off near the festival.
Those driving in should look for parking on Trenton Avenue north of York Street.
The festival is FREE with pay-as-you-go food and drinks.
For more information about the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival, click the button below.
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through September 3, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as free tickets to the Museum of the American Revolution, free tickets for a ride on the Ferris wheel and roller skating at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, a $25 CHeU Noodle restaurants gift card, free mini-golf and a carousel ride at Franklin Square, free passes to ride the PHLASH Downtown Loop and a $10 Lyft credit.