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West Columbia’s second annual Kinetic Derby Day this Saturday

West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) - On Saturday, April 27, 2019, the streets of West Columbia will be filled with art, kinetic floats, soapbox racing, and thousands of people gathering together for the second annual Kinetic Derby Day. The event spurs creative thinking, competition, and family fun as teams come together to build unusual vehicles and awe-inspiring art installations.

The day begins with the kinetic sculpture parade. Local and regional artists showcase human-powered, handmade floats that use gravity and kinetic energy to move along the parade route. The themes range from flying monsters to bizarre satire.

Following the parade, soapbox cars take over the massive hill on Meeting Street to race in adult and children divisions. Awards are given for the best art car, the fastest car, and best wipeout. There are no engines of any kind here. Kinetic Derby racers are powered by a strong push from a group of friends and then gravity takes over, hopefully! Officially, cars can have no stored energy, motors, or electricity. Only pushing, pulling, pedaling or walking is permitted in order to move the human-powered floats throughout the course. 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. You can be a costumed rider on a decked-out bike or a crew driving a much more elaborate kinetic device

There’s an official list of rules but the rule regarding power for your racer clearly states, “Derby cars must be gravity-powered. No kinetics, wind, propulsion, or other means of acceleration will be accepted.” Safety is key so you should definitely need to refer to rule #1, Subpart A which reads, “Your face may not be the front bumper of your car!” Don’t worry about stopping at the bottom of the hill. Last year, Adluh Milling Company, an area icon for over 100 years, graciously provided a dump truck load of freshly milled dry grits to bleed off the speed of the lightning fast racers at the finish line! You can see the entire list of derby rules by clicking this LINK.

After the race, go to the bottom of the hill, take a right on to State Street to find art installations, artist tents, interactive science fun, food trucks, and exhibition soapbox racing. It’s a great time for people of all ages to slow down, browse, meet or reconnect with their neighbors, and just enjoy a great day in a great city!

The mission of Kinetic Derby Day is to inspire creative problem solving, build community pride, and showcase West Columbia’s growing community ready for economic investment. The event is intended to inspire creative thinkers and help them develop problem-solving skills to construct the ideas they imagine.

To learn more about the entire event, check out the Kinetic Derby Day’s website at

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Call Paul Kirby

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