PORT TOWNSEND — Preparations for the Kinetic Skulpture Race are in full swing in Port Townsend, with volunteers setting up decorations for the weekend’s festivities.
On Thursday, the American Legion Hall at 209 Monroe St. was decorated to match the theme of this year’s race, “Kinetic Goes Kosmik,” complete with an alien named Dennis, light-up UFOs as table decorations and a chicken in a spacesuit.
The hall not only serves as the starting line for this weekend’s Kinetic Skulpture Race but also is the location of the Kosmik Koronation Kostume Ball on Saturday, where this year’s Kinetic Kween will be chosen.
“At this point, there are only a few entries, so we’re looking for more,” said race President Janet Emery.
All are invited to apply for the title of Kinetic Kween. All they have to do is show up to the Kostume Ball at 8 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion to tell a joke, share a recipe and perform a talent.
“Talent is really flexible,” Emery said. “I’ve seen some people do some pretty weird stuff.”
Weird stuff includes a “water dance” complete with a kiddie pool full of water balloons and a routine inspired by the Olympic synchronized swimming team.
“After that, the whole thing goes crazy,” Emery said.
This year, Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme will perform at the ball. The party is for those 21 and older, with tickets $15 and limited occupancy. No presale tickets are available, so Emery suggested people show up early.
Before the Koronation Ball, Saturday morning kicks off day one of the race.
The day starts at noon with the wanna-be parade, which starts in the US Bank parking lot, 1239 Water St., and heads down Water Street to the American Legion Hall.
Racers then pedal up the hill for a brake test and, if and when they stop, the skulptures are checked out by the pageantry judges and the head engineering judge Phil Noelke, known during the race as “Space Pope.”
The racers then head around Point Hudson, back to the Northwest Maritime Center, and launch into the water, where they must pedal out to collect an alien duck before returning to land.
“Starting from the brake test, everything is timed,” Emery said.
After the water course, racers get a break to enjoy Saturday night’s Kostume Ball, but it all starts up again at 10:30 Sunday morning.
To even start the Sunday portion of the race, teams must select a teammate to pass the “sobriety test,” which involves that player successfully catching a water balloon launched by a volunteer from the crowd.
Once a team completes that task, they can head out to Fort Worden, where they’ll tackle the sand course along the beach and then up to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 4907 Landes St., to attempt the dismal bog.
“I hear it’s the longest it’s ever been,” Emery said.
“Hopefully it’ll be the shallowest,” Noelke said. “It would be nice if at least two teams get through it.”
There will be a small break in the Safeway parking lot, then back to the American Legion to cross the finish line.
Awards and the post-race party will start at 6 p.m.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].