Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race :
According to the the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race's website, "Kinetic Sculptures are amphibious, human powered works of art custom built for the race." On the first Saturday in May, "the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) hosts the East Coast Kinetic Sculpture Race Championship on the shore of Baltimore’s Harbor in central Maryland. The eight-hour race covers 14 miles--mostly on pavement, but also including a trip into the Chesapeake Bay and through mud and sand."
My husband and I first encountered Kinetic Sculptures at the Kinetic Sculpture Museum in Ferndale, CA (it has since closed) and we got to see the 2010 race at the DaVinci Days in Corvallis, OR that year.
We also attended the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race in back in 2013.
If you can't commit to the whole eight-hour race, you can see just parts of it. I'd suggest going to the starting line at the American Visionary Art Museum before the race starts, All of the sculptures are lined up and you can get an up close look at them, and even talk to the pilots if they are around.
Once the race starts you can head up the hill that is Federal Hill Park right behind the museum as the first challenge for the sculptures is to go up the hill and around the park. This is another good place to see the sculptures up close, this time in action.
Above is the sculpture, "Dr. Disaster's Spin Cycle" was one of 24 entries this year.
The other really cool thing to see is the splashdown in Canton Waterfront Park. The sculptures go into the water, around the dock, and then exit on the other side, It can get crowded here but it's very entertaining to watch.
If you want to learn more about this year's race and contestants, the full coverage can be found here, with lots of amazing photos. If you want to attend this event be sure to check out the web page for the Spectator's Guide. It has a list of the contestants, prizes that will be awarded, a glossary of terms, a map of the whole event, plus parking suggestions.
Other cool stuff to do in BaltimoreAmerican Visionary Art Museum : Aside from being where the race starts from, the museum features artwork by artists who are self-taught and not formally trained as artists. It can be a little odd but it's odd in an interesting sort of way. There are two buildings and a sculpture park.
For other things to do in Baltimore, check out my post from 2013.