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May 4, 2024
|
9:30 am

Kinetic Sculpture Race 2024

The Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race returns Saturday, May 4. Opening ceremonies at AVAM start at 9:30 a.m., the race begins at 10 a.m. and most teams are likely to cross the finish line 3:15–4:30 p.m. Check out the 2023 Spectator’s Guide for information on how to enjoy the race from the sidelines.

Kinetic Sculptures are amphibious, human-powered works of art custom built for the race. Each May, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) produces and hosts the East Coast Kinetic Sculpture Race Championship in Baltimore. The eight-hour race covers 15 miles throughout the city—mostly on pavement, but also through mud, sand and water.

American Visionary Art Museum

Free to attend and cheer on racers!

800 Key Hwy.
Baltimore, 21230

Hop Around

About the Kinetic Sculpture Race

Kinetic Sculpture Racing began in Ferndale, California in 1969 when artist Hobart Brown upgraded his son’s tricycle into a 5-wheeled pentacycle and was challenged to a race down Main Street. Over the decades since, the California race evolved into a 3-day all-terrain Kinetic Grand Championship including treacherous sand dunes, water crossings, and elaborate sculptures and costumes.

Kinetic Sculpture racing came to Baltimore in 1999 after Rebecca Hoffberger, founder of the American Visionary Art Museum, heard about the World Championships on television. For the first race, AVAM built the Cha Cha Bird, which eventually became the iconic Fifi—the race’s official mascot. During the off season, Fifi rests on view at the Jim Rouse Visionary Center, an exhibit space just outside the main museum building.

Race Schedule

There is so much to enjoy on race day! Spectators are encouraged to cheer on the kinetinauts along the race route. Check out the Spectator’s Guide for more details.

8-9:30 a.m.: Pre-race picnic

9:30-9:59 a.m.: Opening Ceremony

10 a.m.: Race begins

10:02-10:20 a.m.: The sculptures take Federal Hill

10:15-11:30 a.m.: The sculptures take the Inner Harbor and Fell’s Point

11:15-1 p.m.: The sculptures take Canton

1-3 p.m.: The sculptures take Patterson Park

3:30-4:45 p.m.: The sculptures head back to AVAM

4-6 p.m.: Break for dinner

6-7 p.m.: Awards ceremony

Where to Watch the Race

Because the race is so spread out, the easiest way to spectate is to pick a spot and watch them pass by. You’ll have exciting views at AVAM, Canton Waterfront Park or Patterson Park as the sculptures navigate tough terrains and obstacles.

Things to do in Federal Hill

Combining 19th century history with beautiful architecture and exciting nightlife, Federal Hill is home to many locally owned shops and restaurants worth exploring before or after the Kinetic Sculpture Race.

Must-see museums include the American Visionary Art Museum, which showcases the work of self-taught artists, and the Baltimore Museum of Industry, which celebrates the innovative spirit of past and present industry workers. Federal Hill is also located right next to Locust Point, where Fort McHenry calls to history buffs.

To pick up local keepsakes and gifts, head to SoBotanicalPhina’s Fine Linens & GiftsThe Book EscapePandora’s Box Boutique and Cheese Galore & More. Then, head to Illusions Bar & Theater for a one-of-a-kind show that serves up illusions, mentalism and even a bit of danger with a side of comedy.

Sports fans will enjoy watching Orioles and Ravens games on the purple patio at Mother’s Grille, around the bar at Magerk’s Pub or on Watershed’s rooftop patio. End the day with a night out on Charles Street, which boasts several busy bars and nightclubs including The Charles, Ropewalk Tavern, Banditos and Game On.

Places to eat in Federal Hill