California Events


Arcata - Ferndale Kinetic Sculpture Race

May 28-30, 2022

Day 1 Arcata - Samoa - Eureka
Day 2 Eureka - Table Bluff - Loleta
Day 3 Loleta - Fernbridge - Ferndale

It has gone by various names during its 40+ year history but the Triathlon of the Art World-- the  Great Arcata to Ferndale World Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race--  is a 3-day race that travels 42 miles along land, sand, water and mud, to compete for nothing more than glory. Anybody can sign up to participate as long as they have an idea, a vehicle to move it along, and having a team never hurts, either. The sign up goes through mid-May and can be found on the website, They accept donations, sponsors, and volunteers.  But you can just show up and watch!

Set to the backdrop of the California's northern Redwood coast, entries for the race are pieces of unique art with machines hidden or strapped to them, and usually at least several wheels to make the trek between Arcata and Ferndale in Humboldt County.

Artist Hobart Brown challenged Ferndale artist Jack Mays to a race down Ferndale's Main street back in 1969 and the the event was such a hit, it became an annual attraction that everybody wanted to be a part of.  As the original kinetic sculpture race of many that now span the globe, the event has gained a cult following. People come from all over to see the event held on Memorial Weekend each year.

It begins on a Saturday in downtown Arcata at the plaza square at noon, and heads to Manila Dunes for a sand trek. The day's race ends in Eureka's downtown gazebo.

Sunday starts in Eureka at the waterfront on the Humboldt Bay, where Kinetic Pilots race their crafts through the water (most float).

Day 3 starts from the mouth of the Eel River, through Morgan slough and onto dry land. Racers cross the finish line on Ferndale's historic Main street, where racers park and head up to the Final Awards Dinner at Ferndale's Fireman's Hall.

For Southern Californians, the Memorial Weekend Strawberry Festival Parade in Garden Grove offers a different type of street show.

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