It's a parade, architectural design competition and slapstick comedy routine rolled into one.
The Kensington Derby and Arts Festival parades mobile sculptures along a three-mile, urban obstacle course through the East Kensington and Fishtown neighborhoods, finishing with a messy splashdown in a mud pit.
Stored energy, motors, electricity, pushing, pulling and walking are a no-no for these human-powered floats. 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 through the course. Obstacles along the way, including the Bubble Trouble zone outside Johnny Brenda’s , add to the suspense.
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. Two lucky people are crowned Derby King and Queen as well.
Getting There & Tickets
The festival spans a handful of city blocks along Trenton Avenue from Norris Street to York Street.
Organizers recommend guests arrive via bike or public transportation. The festival is just a few 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.
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