Best Memorial Day Weekend CA Getaway: Humboldt Kinetic Art Triathlon

Kinetic Art Triathalon entry of frogmobile and blue boat on wheels on path with bicycle riders behindHumboldt County’s Kinetic Grand Championship is one of the 9 Best Memorial Day Weekend Getaways in California. Founded by metal sculptor Hobart Brown in 1969, the 50th Humboldt Kinetic Grand Championship will be held May 25-27, 2019, along the Redwood Coast. The course for the world’s original art triathlon stretches from Arcata to Ferndale, across 42 miles of Humboldt County’s towns, beaches, trails, and rivers.

What is the Kinetic Grand Championship? It’s the three day “human-powered all-terrain triathlon of the art world”. It requires artists’ combined artistic and engineering skills building pedal-powered racing sculptures that can traverse land, sand, mud and open water. Forty to fifty sculptures typically enter the Race, with kinetinaut crews that include pilots to power and steer the sculptures, plus pit crews to help transforming them for the land, sand, and water portions of the race.

The Kinetic Grand Championship website provides a spectator’s guide, detailed information, and maps about each day’s route and the best places for visitors to see the race, join the parties, and visit with the pilots and crews.

  • Saturday, May 25, 2019, the Race begins at Arcata Plaza, where the sculptures/vehicles are judged in categories including Art, Engineering, Safety, Kinetic Thrills, and Safety. Racers leave the Plaza and follow the bottoms road to Manila, then cross miles of sand dunes to “Deadman’s Drop”. The first day’s course ends at Eureka’s Halvorsen Park, where there is a Finish Line Party, spectators can see the sculptures at rest, visit with kinetinauts, and enjoy music, food, and the Beer Garden.
  • Sunday, May 26, 2019, the second day of the Race begins at the Public Marina, crossing Humboldt Bay, followed by a dry land climb up Hookton Hill. That’s the last chance for spectators to see the Kinetic Sculptures on Saturday, before they take a fast ride down a winding road to a campground along the Eel River.
  • Memorial Day, May 27, the racers pedal from the campground to Fernbridge, where they cross the Eel River, then traverse the Eel River Valley to the finish line at Main and Brown Streets in historic Ferndale. There, thousands of visitors will watch the finish and party with food, drinks, and Kinetic merchandise.

Kinetic Art Triathalon entries in Humboldt Bay with green and white boat in right foreground crowded dock and waterfront buildings behindWhy not celebrate Memorial Day Weekend this year by watching Humboldt’s 50th “Great and Wonderfully Marvelous Kinetic Grand Championship”? The Redwood Riverwalk Hotel in Fortuna, CA, is conveniently located close to all three days of the route for the Race. Staying at The Redwood, our guests also are steps away from Fortuna’s Riverwalk, near the Avenue of the Giants, California’s Lost Coast, Old Town Eureka, and great beaches, and hiking trails.

Please call our independent Hotel on California’s Redwood Coast to make your reservation, or go online to reserve your stay. The Kinetic Grand Championship is Humboldt County’s annual Memorial Day Weekend event, so plan to come and watch this unique triathlon!

Images courtesy of Humboldt Lodging Alliance

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