Downhill all the way in Highlandtown this weekend

Written by on October 5, 2011 in Neighborhood News - No comments

Things are going downhill in Highlandtown, but it’s not what you think.

The things are Art Carts, home-made gravity powered racing carts with a driver.

They have been designed by teams of neighborhood folks of all ages, and they will race in the 3600 block of Gough Street, where there is a convenient slope to race on.

The race takes place on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m., and there will be music, art, food, and the essential component of any outdoor festival in Baltimore: beer.

The Art Cart Derby is inspired by classic soapbox racing, but with a twist—the carts have to have an artistic aspect. They can’t be entirely functional.

The Art Carts will line up at 2 p.m. for inspection and admiration, and racing begins at 3:30. Beans & Frank, Will Hill and Wasabi are among the bands that will perform.

Teams are encouraged to dress in costume and rally support for their carts and drivers.

Aaron Thomas, left, Scott Peters and Matt Saindon salvage parts for their Art Cart. The Art Cart Derby will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8, starting at 2 p.m. in the 3600 block Gough St. Racing begins at 3:30.

The Art Cart Derby is hosted by Communities for All Ages, an initiative designed to make Southeast neighborhoods livable for residents of any age, and sponsored by a number of neighborhood groups. The goal is to get old, young and middle-aged people to work and have fun together.

“We wanted to create an event that would give everyone from older adults to school-age kids an opportunity to participate,” said Amanda Smit, Highlandtown Main Street Manager. “We’ve got one cart that is going to be a giant cookie! I can’t wait to see it in action!”

Engineers are betting that the Cookie Cart will not crumble. Photo courtesy Amanda Smit

The Art Carts are made of scrap lumber and spare parts, and the engineers have done their very best to ensure that the carts will steer and brake. Odds are that they will, but the Art Cart Derby organizers are hedging their bets with bales of straw laid by the curbs in Gough Street.

Meanwhile, at the Laughing Pint up the street, there will be “Art by the Pint,” a retrospective show of artists who have shown in the neighborhood bar over the years.

Admission to the Art Cart Derby is free.

by Jacqueline Watts

Leave a Comment