The first Kinetic Sculpture Race was held in 1969 in Ferndale, California. And in 2016, it made its way to the lovely Downtown Lowell, Massachusetts. The rest was history.
MISSION & HISTORY.
The Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race (LKSR) is an annual STEAM event held on the third Saturday of every September in Lowell, Massachusetts. Kinetic sculptures are human-powered, all-terrain sculptures made from new and repurposed materials and engineered to race over streets, water, mud, and sand. LKSR strives to inspire artists, engineers, performers, and visionaries of the future by promoting the synthesis of the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) fields, disruptive innovation, and physical activity.
The race is open to all ages and works with students from local schools and after-school programs, artists, engineers, bike enthusiasts, and anyone with a spark of creativity and a sense of adventure. The LKSR is the only race of this kind in New England with its roots stemming from the Kinetic Grand Championship in California and the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race.
On September 24th, 2016, Lowell experienced its first kinetic sculpture race. It was an unforgettable day filled with feats of engineering traversing the city’s streets, battling a mud pit, and navigating the Merrimack River. An estimated 3500 people attended this free, family-friendly event that included not only the race, but activities for kids and families, live bands, food trucks, and a theatrical opening ceremony, all held at three different locations throughout the city.
IS A KINETIC
Kinetic Sculptures are all-terrain, human-powered, art sculptures, engineered to race over road, water, mud and sand. Kinetic sculptures are amazing works of art; many are animated with moving parts like blinking eyes, opening mouths, heads that move side to side and up and down. These machines of art are usually made from what some people consider “junk” or better put, recycled materials. Each kinetic team has a theme and consist of pilots, pit crew and support crew. Spectators are encouraged to either watch from the sidelines or follow the race on their bikes (obeying all traffic laws that apply).
RACE DAY FUN.
Racers make their way through the bumpy cobblestone street of Middle St.
Maddening Mud Pit
Watch the racers trudge through the Mud Pit outside of Jeanne D'arc Credit Union; only the strong survive!
Racers Tackle the Water Obstacle in a battle of sink or swim with Outdoor activities, Lawn Games, Food Trucks, and Live Music.
Watch the theatrical Opening Ceremony and hang around for the Family Fun Zone, Activities and Live Music. Or choose to follow the race around Downtown!
Meet the machines
Machines line up on Market Street where spectators can meet the racers and get a first look at this year's lineup.
Racers loops back around to where they started and cross the finish line. Award ceremony begins!
LKSR Official After Party
+ Award Ceremony
Join us for a celebration!