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Uwishunu Event published on May 13, 2022

Kensington's Cavalcade of Human-Powered Floats Returns in Mid-May

Saturday, May 14, 2022

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

Photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

Location & Contact:

  • Trenton Avenue and Norris Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19125
  • Visit Website
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The Philadelphia Federal Credit Union Kensington 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 mud pit finishing zone and/or browse the booths from 100-plus local artists and vendors selling and displaying various arts and crafts.

Food trucks are on site, 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.

Don’t Miss

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.

For more information about the Kensington Derby and Arts Festival, click the button below.

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