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Kinetic Sculpture Race passes through the park

Turtles in the lake and wacky sculptures on the hills made Patterson Park the place to be.

Patterson Park was the site of several events Saturday April 26. Before kinetic sculptures were scheduled to march through the park, rededication ceremonies were held for renovations finally complete at Boat Lake.

A bed of sand lie next to the vendors serving hotdog's, sodas and fresh hot mini donuts to the crowd. Many were nestled under the Pavillion as they waited for the entourage to arrive. Just above, “Mud Doctors” where outside the Casino putting together a hefty sized mud pit for an event in the fifth annual East Coast National Kinetic Sculpture Race, hosted by the American Visionary Arts Museum (AVAM).

Among others, the volcano, teapot and duck would make their glorious entrance into the park just as the turtles were getting used to their new but old home at Boat Lake.

One of the biggest renovations at Boat Lake began in March of 2002. The turtles were found at the bottom of the lake when renovations began, but instead of displacing the turtles, staff chose to care for them until the pond was restored, says Kini Collins events coordinator for the nonprofit organization, Friends of Patterson Park. The turtles were reintroduced to the pond on Saturday, and spectators were as excited to see them, as they were to see this year's Kinetic Sculpture Race.

Louie’s Bone Wagon arrived first at the park from Linwood Street; the Dragon of Death navigated by Justin Heneke, an art major at Towson University, followed them. As more and more sculptures made their way to the park a few began the push through the sand obstacle.

See a slide show of kinetic sculptures competing in sand, mud and water obstacle courses.

From there, pilots made their way up to the Casino were they would face the second challenge, the mud pit. In at least a foot of mud pilots took on the pit with vigor. A few pilots even went back for more diving into the mud in belly-flop fashion.

After a quick hose down the pilots made their way up to the ever-famous Pagoda on Hampstead Hill. A woman in a butterfly hat played accordion on the steps of the Pagoda entrance as people climbed four stories to the top.

BushLeaguers (those who participate in land-only events) made their way back to Key Highway were the AVAM was preparing burgers, salads, and cakes for pilots as they returned from the 15-mile long race through the city. But hardcore Kinetinauts went on to another event at the Baltimore Museum of Industry for the Water Loop.