Quirky Conveyances Rule Kinetic Grand Championship

Amazing machines'll take to land and water around Humboldt County.

Tina Kerrigan

BRAKE AT A STOPLIGHT, and glance over at the car to your right, and you'll probably see... a car. Maybe 99 out of 100 times this will happen, and you expect it, just as you expect the car at your right, or left, will be quite traditional, with the expected amount of doors, a hood, windows in all of the usual spots, and a quartet of wheels beneath the whole unsurprising shebang, too. But sometimes the car to your right will have some toy dinosaurs glued to the dashboard, or a zazzy paint job, or another design element that makes it stand out, visually, from the crowd of cars. And if it is your lucky day, and you're in the right spot, and you're experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime moment? That car to your right will be kinetic. But finding kinetic machines, those people-powered wonders that sometimes sport an odd number of tires, or giant wings, or the ability to float as well as drive on terra firma, isn't that simple, unless you happen to be in Humboldt County over...

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: That's when the Kinetic Grand Championship takes place, with panache, each and every year, and spying the creative devices is as simple as finding out where they'll be over the three-day event. You might behold a cavalcade of whirligig'd autos on Arcata Plaza, or Loleta Hill (described as "a brutal climb"), or Eel River, or Ferndale, or other spots. The "cars" will resemble giant animals, or pay homage to beloved stories like "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," or be lavishly laden with so many doodads that you may be left scratching your head as to what the theme might be. As important as the car's art-a-tude is its ability to go, which not always a given, but that fact adds an extra layer of excitement to the "Triathalon of the Art World." It's free to see, donations are accepted, and it is as happily Humboldt-County-y as Humboldt County traditions come. Never experienced this quirky California classic? Make 2018 your year.

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