For one afternoon, the cobblestones of Trenton Avenue were transformed into an exhibition of crafts, music and art for the Third Annual Trenton Avenue Arts Festival. Local Taverns including Murph’s Bar and Oreilly’s Pub were on hand to serve food, and The Philadelphia Brewing Company provided ice cold draught beer to festival goers. The highlight of the day was definitely the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture
Derby. Not so much a race, this was a parade of some very elaborate human powered sculptures.
The derby begins at the southern tip of Kensington. The entrants then parade their sculptures through Fishtown before turning around in Penn Treaty Park for a return to the festival. Traversing the urban landscape isn’t the easiest thing for any man powered vehicle, let alone a large metal sculpture. To make things even more interesting, the course ends with a trip through a mud pit. The pieces range from simple to elaborate, but the muddy finish really leveled the playing field.
Each team had the chance to place in six categories including Best Costume, Best Art and Best Engineering. Best costume went to Heidi Karl of the “Flying Monkey” team for their kinetic rendition of the Wicked Witch and her monkey cohorts from the wizard of oz. “Team Kenzinger” captained by Tyson Tarbell took Best engineering with their human powered beer delivery truck.
Captain John Spetrino of “Dirigable Model 215 The Sand Reckoner” captured the Best Art award. Their pedal powered piece comes from a surviving essay from the Greek engineer Archimedes, and with team mate Tom Carr riding on top dressed in a long red coat and red top hat, the crowd cheered as they crossed the final muddy length of the course.
“We really try to keep it found art…stuff we had around the shop…it seems like we threw stuff on there, but it’s all very purposeful and planned,” Carr said. “If someone comes back next year with something bigger or better, then my job is complete,” Spetrino added.