2016 Kinetic Sculpture Race to Take Place in Lowell, MA on September 24

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Contact:  Chris Pappas                                                                                                                                                                                     




2016 Kinetic Sculpture Race to Take Place in Lowell, MA on September 24

Lowell, MA (August 25, 2016):  Lowell, Massachusetts will host the first Kinetic Sculpture Race to take place in Massachusetts on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

Sitting squarely at the crossroads of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, the Kinetic Sculpture Race, sometimes referred to as the Triathlon of the Art World, is comprised of home-engineered kinetic sculptures, all-terrain, human-powered vehicles with an artistic twist.  Over the course of a day they tackle mud, sand, water, gravel and pavement. Each kinetic team has a theme and consists of pilots, pit crew and support crew. Kinetic pilots pedal the sculpture and steer while the pit crews assist the pilots in transforming the vehicle for the various elements and fixing mechanical issues. While there is an award for the fastest time to complete the course, the goal of the race is to create an enjoyable, family friendly racing spectacle for people of all ages and backgrounds.  


Day-long events include viewing the race at the various obstacle locations around Lowell, interacting with competitors and officials, and enjoying a fun, family friendly atmosphere against a backdrop of whimsical racing machines. From 9:00-10:30AM on race day, fans and spectators alike can head down to Market Street to meet the racers and view the wacky sculptures. The opening ceremonies will take place at the intersection of Market and Middle Streets with a rousing kickoff at 10:30AM, followed by the start of the race. These engineering feats will be racing through the streets of Lowell, going down the ‘Bone-Shaker Alley’ of Middle Street to the Maddening Mud Pit at the Tsongas Center then off to brave the waters of the Merrimack River at the DCR Lowell Heritage State Park where they will emerge to race back to the finish line on Market Street. The entire Kinetic Sculpture race-course is open to the public, free of charge.



“The Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race is an anticipated event due to its strong fun for all culture and it’s emphasis on creativity and recycling,” said Deb Belanger, Executive Director of the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau.  “Lowell is the perfect place for this event, with our vibrant artistic community,  unique geographic qualities and location as well as our history of hosting races.”


Originally a west coast phenomenon, the first Kinetic Sculpture Race was held in 1969 in Ferndale, California when local artist Hobart Brown decided to upgrade his son’s tricycle including two more wheels among other add-ons. Challenged by his neighbor to race down Main Street, Hobart started the 1st ever Kinetic Sculpture Race, and a tradition was born with other races popping up since then all across the country.  The Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race will be the first of its kind in New England and sure to be a crowd pleaser. On why Lowell is the perfect place, Bianca Mauro, co-director of the race states, “As a constantly evolving destination for education, innovation and the arts, Lowell embodies the spirit of kinetic energy and is the perfect backdrop for what will become an annual celebration of the collaboration of art and sciences.”


The goal of the race is to show kids that it’s fun to be an adult.  This concept is so embedded in the race’s culture that there are time bonus incentives for surrounding racing machines in bubbles, carrying a non-racing passenger and “bribing” officials and spectators with homemade food, crafts and artwork. When planning their builds, participants are encouraged to repurpose what would be considered junk into fantastical kinetic sculptures. Picture several bicycles, a bathtub and an old tractor transformed into an amphibious racing machine. Notable themed entries at other Kinetic Sculpture Races have included dragons, a larger than life unicycle, a pirate ship, dinosaurs and a two-person basket suspended between 6-foot diameter wheels. Michael Roundy, co-director of the race and also a big fan of Kinetic racing says, “this race is guaranteed to provide lots of entertainment, put a smile on your face and expand your curiosity into the world of science, technology, engineering and math.”


For more information on Lowell’s first Kinetic Sculpture Race, visit www.merrimackvalley.org

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