April 17, 2019 – (Key West, FL). Nation’s Kinetic Parade Craze Hits Key West with Fourth Annual Family-Friendly Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade
Key West has long been known for its air of kinetic energy, but on Saturday, May 4 at high noon it’s about to become entirely literal when the Fourth Annual Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade, presented by Key West Art & Historical Society and co-produced by Wonderdog Productions, rolls through downtown Key West toward the Truman Waterfront Amphitheater with its cavalcade of art-inspired, human-powered, mobile sculptures, and art bikes.
“As the parade enters its fourth year, we are excited to see this event grow both in support and participation,” says Society Executive Director Michael Gieda. “We are thrilled to rank among kinetic events around the country providing engaging, community-focused offerings that merge art, science, history, and fun.”
The first ever Kinetic Sculpture Race started in 1969 in Ferndale, California, and later grew to include national cutting-edge race events in Humbolt, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Port Townshend. Since then, many communities have joined the kinetic craze, offering their own variation of floats-with-moving-parts-parades.
The Society took our region’s laid-back attitude and rebel ingenuity into account when kicking off thePapio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Paradein May 2016, eliminating the “race” component but adding the element of “art bikes” for the town known for its pedaling revelers, as well as launching a robust educational component for schools and kids.
In past years,spectators have been treated to the sight of astonishingly imaginative, totally human-powered works of art traversing the length of historic Duval Street, including a supersized narwhal that winked at spectators, a pedaled 46-foot-long Flagler’s train, a pelican whose widespread wings flapped as it towed parasailing minnows, a tribute to Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” a 15-foot-long silver time machine made of moving gears and cogs with a futuristically-costumed human pilot, an eagle ray powered by three bicycling men dressed as remoras, an enormous flying pig, and a ship with waves, straight out of “Where The Wild Things Are.”
With 2019 creations being built by several sponsored “Papio Ambassadors” artist teams and several school teams supported by scholarships and led by “Kinetic Coaches” Suzanne Brown and Crystal Smith, this year’s parade promises to offer another astounding visual feast with spectacular kinetic sculpture floats and art bikes created by “The Dynamic Junk Pedalers” team of Dee Dee Green, Ryan Stachurski, Marley Claridge, John “Johnny O” Ortiz, Kim Stamps, Sharon Brophy, Christina Ramerez, Tony Lopez and canine friend Henry, along with solo Ambassadors Jack McDonald, Suzanne Brown, Cayman Smith-Martin, Jeremy Hackworth, Elle Fernandez, and David Hutchinson.
Surrounding Papio Parade weekend events include aFriday May 3, presentation by artist/academic Molly Ross titled “Spectacle in the Street: Art of the Parade” from 6:00-7:00pm at the Custom House Museum, a fabulous parade after-party at the Truman Waterfront Amphitheater on May 4, with awards ceremony, live music performed by The Wilde Awake featuring Tony Baltimore, refreshment booths, and an incredible Kid’s Zone complete with a rock climbing wall, giant water slide, obstacle course, “Papio’s Recycled Art Workshop” area, archery tag, the famous Imagination Playground giant blue blocks, and a fun inflatable special for the very wee ones. On Sunday, May 5 there’s free admission all day to Fort East Martello Museum and its permanent exhibit of Stanley Papio sculpture works.
Come watch the Parade, or—register your own kinetic sculpture float or art bike now to add to the kinetic frenzy of fun. For registration information, event schedule, entry guidelines, festival tickets, and sponsorship information, visit www.papiokineticparade.com. The Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by the Monroe County tourist Development Council, the Helmerich Trust, Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina, Key TV, Keys Weekly, Law Offices of Samuel J. Kaufman, and First State Bank of the Florida Keys. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an island.
Key West Preschool Co-op won the 2018 “Barefoot Stanley Kids Award” at last year’s Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade for their entry, “Surrender Your Plastics!”